NaNoWriMo Eve: Just As Scary As Halloween

NaNoWrimo Eve (1)


Happy Halloween! I can’t think of a better day to discuss fear. As ghosts and goblins and witches take over the streets and Freddy Krueger and Jason take over the television, fear consumes many. Don’t be fooled though. The fear I’m talking about is not the fear you’re imagining.

This is the fear every writer often encounters. Not only is the topic appropriate for Halloween, but also on NaNoWriMo Eve.

And I start tomorrow!

And I start tomorrow!

Tonight (October 30), I planned to dive into a new outline for the book I’m writing over the next 30 days. Once I finish that, I set a goal to complete revisions on one more chapter of my upcoming book. Not too long after I opened my laptop I made the “I’m too tired” excuse. While this was true, I knew deep down if I set my mind to it, I could do it. So why didn’t I?

I was afraid.

The fear consumed me.

I was simply terrified.


The terror takes over in different ways. Sometimes it’s the tired excuse, but other times it’s distraction. Distraction is often what happens with me. I sit down to write and I find myself checking Facebook or Twitter or playing a few (yeah, right) games of Candy Crush. Maybe I’ll turn on an episode of Friends or just mindlessly surf the Internet.

Distraction is how I typically deal with fear.


All the many ways to distract yourself.

All the many ways to distract yourself.

I wish I knew why I let this fear take over my writing. Tonight this made no sense. An outline isn’t difficult to put together, and it’s an extremely important piece for me to finish the 50,000 words I plan on writing next month. (I also have pre-ordered my winner shirt so I better complete it!)

I’m not positive why my fear is so real. Is it that I think my ideas will be dumb? Or that possibly they will be incredible and I won’t be able to live up to my expectations? Even if either of these are the reason, I need to learn to ignore them. I need to push past them and just write. The even bigger problem is that I recognize it and I still allow distractions and fear to take over.

Are you a writer? How do you push past the terror? How do you take this fear and utilize it in your writing?