I pretty much go through this exercise in self torture every time I sit down to write anything new. It’s one of the reasons I’ve found using writer’s prompts and then writing like mad for 15 minutes is an excellent way to loosen up. What’s truly amazing is that by forcing all of the self-doubt away and shutting down the internal editor, I’ve come up with some interesting snippets for possible short stories.
Recently I had to reassure one of my fledgelings — one of the early ones, now very much a master herself — that she hadn’t “lost it.”
What is “it” you ask? It is the ability to write.
This is a perennial and bizarre fear of all writers. I suspect half of you suffer from this. We take a month off — say, to refinish furniture (it’s research, okay? It has now given rise to Busted Marble, Stenciled Murder and Chalked off soon to be visited upon Dyce Dare as soon as A Well Inlaid Death is Finished. Yes, sure, some stuff needed done around here, but we probably could have waited a year and paid. OTOH I was too far from furniture refinishing to fully get in the mind of someone who does it for a living. So…) — and then we come back, write and become convinced it’s…
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