Fear and Writing

I typed in fear and writing into the computer the other day. (Yes, it was one of those days.) and you’d be amazed at how much came up.

But this was one of the best.

In a nutshell, she says we need to stop trying to name the thing you’re trying to create.

The marketing buzz has gotten out of hand. We are trying to market before we’ve even created. And there are writing books that actually say don’t type a word until you know your audience. Don’t let a thought fill your head until you know who you’re going to sell it to.

A friend and I laugh about how it’s gotten that not only do you have to write a book, you’re expected to edit it, market it, and then pulp it too. You certainly have to know exactly what shelf it’s supposed to be on.

The stress and frustration comes when the mind refuses to participate.

It says Sorry, my gold does not have a price on it. You already whipping out your cost analyses? Well, I’m not morphing into anything sellable. I’m gonna bring all the woolgathering (an Anne Lamott term) to a screeching halt.

All those writing books are just like baby raising books. They are constantly refuting each other.

Best to just ignore them all and go with your gut instinct.

And don’t forget the love. That’s the main ingredient.

photo by p!o (flickr)


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145 responses to “Fear and Writing

  1. Nice post! I read a lot of agent/industry blogs and sometimes it really does get to be too much. Best to focus more time on just writing what you feel compelled to write. Ultimately, you can’t sell something unless it’s good, and a project based completely on marketability will be missing that vital soul component, or love, as you say.

  2. kelliejwin

    I love this post! What you’ve described is exactly why my creativity has gone in the toilet lately. I’ve learned a lot about writing, but I’m not an editor, not a marketing specialist, not a publisher and I don’t feel that I should be expected to be one. However, I’m willing to learn if someone says “hey – I like your book. Let me help you publish it. Then we’ll help you market it.” I can follow directions. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. So my response to a potential publisher – “I’m personable, I’m not shy – publish my book and I’ll help you sell it!”

  3. Good piece! I’ve heard firsthand from agents that the publishing industry cares little nowadays about quality. The only question asked is “How well will this sell?” Unfortunately, a lot of dreck sells well.
    Renee Fisher, co-author of two books about life after 50 and Master of the Dog and Pony Show of Self-Marketing

  4. Thanks for this post. It is sickening how so much art gets funneled through the “Is it marketable?” lense before it’s even created. That is not right. I tried reading a couple of writing books and never got very far. Just write and write and write and keep writing.

  5. it’s like a quick slap in the face…and JUST what I needed to hear…THANK YOU! I will share it with all of my writer friends…dr.c.

  6. This sounds a whole lot like the photography business right now – ugh!!!! I LOVE this post Nina!

  7. I say write from your heart or your head, whichever you use more, and worry about marketing when the time comes. Stories come from somewhere otherworldly, especially if you’re doing it right. They just pour out from somewhere inside us, our souls maybe, and I think it’s important to just get them out. Love the post!

  8. “My gold does not have a price on it”: Now those are words to live by, a “mantra” if you will. Perfectly written!

    The Codger

  9. Wow, thank you so much for your words! You have no idea how much I appreciate your insight. I am currently writing a book and have bought into everyone telling me how wrong I am doing it. I simply opened my laptop and began typing from my heart….. and people are telling me I need a plan and a definite story and to out line the chapters…. etc. I can’t though, it makes me feel stifled and I feel it silences my inherent creativity and channeling not to mention shuts out the authentic love from which it was born.

    Really, thank you and many well wishes to you,

  10. I have just started writing again after a long absence and as such I have been scouring the internet for information. I have come across the same seemingly anti-creative tips that you have mentioned. I just decided to sit at the keyboard and put down whatever came to mind and I find it actually fun. Thanks for the tip and I will keep checking out what you have to say.

  11. Raul

    I always say to write what you want and what you know…


  12. Platform and branding, and get the first ten pages right, the first five pages right, the first line right…And tie yourself up in knots. Thanks for a sensible word about writing.

  13. You hit the nail on the head with this one! Thank you. Writing, for me, is an organic process. As soon as I focus on the end result, as Anne Lamott says, that’s when Radio KFCKD kicks in in my head. I LOVE the photo too.

    Marie McHale Drake

  14. Thanks for posting this little nugget of encouragement to stay in love!

  15. This is exactly what I needed to hear.

    I’ve been paralyzed lately with whether my voice is authentic enough or my writing is skilled enough or if the story is relevant enough.

    Enough! Time to sit down and remember why I started writing in the first place.

    Thank you!

  16. Thanks for this. I’ve been looking into the “business” of creative writing, and looking at it all from a marketing angle definitely takes away from the natural process of creating what comes to me… this helps!

  17. Brilliant sentiment and a timely reminder for me. I work in the journalism “field” where there’s a big push towards demonstrating how self-publishing is the cornerstone of entrepreneurial journalism. Sometimes it can be draining because it diverts attention from the core requirement of journalism – telling stories. If you can create those stories you’ve nothing to market. It’s terribly reassuring to discover someone else has observed this as well.

  18. Pingback: Fear and Writing (via Nina Killham’s Blog) « DEAD MEN'S TALES

  19. Rajeev

    Nice post. A grrr ee with you.

  20. Man, you are right on the money. How much great work and creativity is thwarted by the desire to top a bestseller list? I mean, sure, that’s the ultimate goal, to write something that other people will want to read and pay good money for, but the quality of the work is the only thing we, as writers, should be concerned with. Any sales, marketing, or public relations specialist worth their salt knows that ANYTHING is marketable. It’s their job to figure out how to do it. Where the frame fits, how it should spin, what the buzz should be and through what avenues – that’s THEIR masterpiece. Let the publicists do their jobs and writers get back to the work of producing something that’s worth the effort.

  21. This is amazing. What you shared about having to market while creating is so true. I recently wrote an essay on writing and messiness that I shared with my writing group and posted on my site as well. Creativity is supposed to be chaotic, wild, messy. Marketing is the total opposite, and needs to come waaaay after finishing a work of art. I wish more people were saying what you’re saying. I get so tired of people wanting a whole synopsis of what I’m working on, who will read it, what “bookshelf it will be on,” as you aptly said. Creativity is awesome on it’s own even if it makes no money.

  22. cool yet creepy…how did you come up with this creepiness beutiful wonderful stuff?check out some of my blogs…thanks…i hope you read my blogs soon!:)!


  23. awesome! just what I wanted to hear. really help me

  24. njaiswal

    I got here because of the picture. Very interesting!

    And it’s true, a writer’s thoughts are no longer her/his own. The audience has really come to control you, even without you knowing it! Somehow, it can’t really be helped, because the reader is what makes the writer. Take a look at these 2 posts, just some thoughts.

    Again, very true thought!

  25. I agree whole heartedly, I’m scared to even submit my world changing masterpiece because I am unsure of “my audience”…


  26. lauriero

    I started a novel…got an agent excited about it. (Prematurely on my part.) Sent the first 80 and was asked for the ‘whole thing’ right away. My problem was that I wasn’t done writing yet. She said she wanted it for the young adult market, and suddenly, I’m writing in a fury to finish the damn thing and trying “make it” young adult. It was a disaster. I threw the entire 120K project on the shelf for two years and am finally re-writing it without thinking about who’s going to read it in the end….it’s much better this way.

  27. what does it mean to pulp a book?

  28. Just what we all needed to hear! A shout out to those true writers out there. Now if only the publishing world would listen. Or could listen, considering that publishing is going down the toilet. Which is why we are being told to market our work ourselves…but makes you wonder if we would be reading Austen.

  29. I had quite an emotional reaction to your post, and thank you for your liberating message.

    Recently, I shared my precious manuscript baby with a person running a business to help writers publish “the right way.” She looked at me over wire-rimmed spectacles framed by neatly coffered white hair and asked the question I so dread.

    “Did you already write the book?”

    “Yes.” I whimpered. I knew my answer screamed “AMATEUR!”

    Then, the all-to-familiar look came and I glanced down in shame thinking, “Gosh, I love my new baby. Her inception resulted from a passionate love affair between a lifetime spent living the contents and my all-consuming lover, writing. Do I really need to give her up for adoption because I wrote her before pitching a nonfiction book proposal?”

  30. Very interesting piece… It never ceases to amaze me how a small handful of critics can decide the value of art – of any kind – based on mass marketability and personal opinion. What is considered art to one may not be to the rest of the world, but does that give it any less value to those who appreciate it?

    I once visited an art museum downtown where I saw a HUGE canvas painted entirely blue. The listed price was somewhere in the tens of thousands, but to me it looked like nothing more than a crap paint job on a wall. Yet there it was, deemed worthy by somebody “important,” to be hung in a museum. I’m certainly not a professional art critic, but which is (or should be) more important when it comes to true beauty: Marketability or “Eye of the Beholder?”



  31. buytupperwarebangalore

    I think I must be a nerd. I just wrote my first book and after I finished writing it ….I wondered how I should publish it. Then I got the shock of my life when 2 big publishing houses agreed to publish my book but since I am
    a first time author wanted me to shell out thousands of dollars. I actually thought that one wrote a book to earn some dough, so what’s with the
    thousands required for publishing ? Got me all zapped. Then I found CreateSpace from Amazon.com where I self-published but I had to go
    through 2 proof readings and a lot of hard work editing my own book.
    I actually put down my whole experience in my blog at

  32. Miss Rosemary

    Nice post! I like the go with your gut instinct, but must admit that I do also buy the writing bokos, just for pointers. Yes, the contradict wach other, but there is no single right way to do anything. You have to sort everything out and decide which advice will best suit you and never compromise your story!

  33. mariano

    como hiciste todo esto necesito ayuda con mi blog grax

  34. bernmarx

    “All those writing books are just like baby raising books.”

    Thanks, I needed this. I’m raising a toddler right now and steadfastly ignoring the books, and yet I face persistent writer’s block because “oh noes I’m doing it wrong!”. Somehow I’m managing to raise a completely dependent human being into independence, and yet I’m getting myself noodled up about A BOOK?

  35. Liked your post. I have had similar thoughts to yours before. Infact, I am writing a book myself not caring if it is going to be published. But it is from my heart. 🙂

    It truly is sad, but what can one do? Let’s just blame it on the capitalism. In Eutopia, if I have something worth sharing, I just put it out there, and let people enjoy it. That comes from the heart and the desire to share. However, in the real world, if I wanted to shre something and make money out of it, people WILL turn around and analize and evaluate the heck out of what I want to share…

  36. I’m so glad to have read this today, I was having a writers block. But no stress now! Thank you!

  37. Yikes — that photo certainly grabs your attention, eh? A very nice post with a good message. I’ve read some “how to write” books and wondered if the authors couldn’t publish their novels, so they wrote “how to write” books. Your piece reminds me of too many Hollywood movies that seem to follow a formula — maybe because film companies have looked at what was previously popular and simply followed the same pattern. So let’s hear it for the books, movies, and other art that doesn’t try to fit into a nice sellable package — and instead tries to look at things in new ways. Personally, I’m glad for a blog as a way to get my silly poems and cartoons out there rather than worry about impressing an agent or publishing company.

  38. Love this. I’ve been having lots of stuck days and there’s no doubt that it’s partly due to the “writing info” overload that is so easy to come by.

  39. Fear and Writing was a good read. No way am I tallented to be a writer and the fear of saying or doing something dumb is always in the back of my mine. The Blog my girlfriend and I are doing is to write about our summer adventures. Even if no one read it…we will have our summer fun in writting. So I am going into this with a lay back attitude… I do not need to be a “writer” to document my summer fun. I am just going to have FUN doing summer adventures with my best friend and blogging them. There is this adventure in August that I want to do, “Martini Jump”.
    Aging But Dangerous: Spunky women over 50 planning to leap from airplanes. Now I am 51 years old, but my bestfriend is not even close to 50, I hope I can take her as my guest for a ride.
    Suzy Q

  40. njaiswal

    Another thing which I’ve been trying to figure out (related to a few of the last comments) is why writer’s are stuck with the burden of the block! Are we expected to keep writing endlessly?! And somehow, the pressure of the possibility of this block just makes it worse and more difficult! I’ve posted a link earlier on this page about the subject. Do take a look!

    Cheers to writers and their independence (online at least!)

  41. Excellent advice. I have no clue what shelf my work belongs on, so I’ll just keep writing and with alcohol and a decent attitude, things will be alright. Great post, though, I needed it. Love the picture.

  42. “There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.” –Terry Pratchett

    This was listed from the Randy Wayne Wite site, on writing excercises. This is now my mantra

  43. skinneejay

    As a person who wants to be a novelist (How cheesy), I really can’t help but think I won’t write what I don’t want to. It may seem like a fantasy, but what’s the point of writing what I don’t want to write?

    Besides, a book I want to write will be finished faster, just in case the publishers care about that.

    Reading uninspired writings is duller than dull.

    Great picture of a deadly toilet, by the way.

  44. njaiswal

    Love the quote. 😀

  45. “Tomorrow morning the critic will be gone, but the writer will still be there facing the blank page. Nothing matters but that he keep working.” (Steven Pressfield). Pressfield wrote ‘The War of Art’ which I highly recommend. Just keep writing no matter what.


  46. I love it! Thanks for the reminder. Above all, art must be honest. Marketing is practically dishonest by definition.

  47. We need to write in order to figure out (learn) what we are going to write about. We stifle all creativity by planning out the writing to be marketed. If we write it, they will come (the readers that is!)

  48. That is an absolutely, positively, terrifying graphic.

    And yes, they do just argue with each other, constantly. Every writing book says something different from every other book, because there is no one catch-all method.

  49. I think it was Lev Tolstoy who once said, “If you can help it and NOT write, then don’t write”. Words of wisdom from someone who could speak with authority. Only when we are driven by a need so powerful that we cannot fight against it, should we write. Then we will have written something meaninful. Thank you for an insightful post.

  50. nice post…very encouraging.

    The Terry Pratchett quote in the comments is hilarious too

  51. Pingback: Fear and Writing (via Nina Killham’s Blog) « Under a Word Spell

  52. rcsilm

    Great post, Nina. I’ve read a lot of “writing” books and even though they do have some good tips, I find that I forget them the moment I close the book. The real learning comes by writing. And yes, looking WAY too far ahead and getting caught in the marketing and money of a book, for me, stunts my creativity. It becomes all about “Will this sell?” instead of, “I love writing, and I want to write a story.”

    Thanks for sharing this shared frustration!

    – Rachel

  53. This post really made my day.

  54. sooooooo true. Time to get back to the core of creativity and stop diluting it with marketing diagrams…

  55. Scott Foley

    Excellent post, and so true. Sure, some of the advice out there is useful, I don’t dispute that. But the creative genesis that goes on in a writer’s head must be real and heartfelt, not the product of a cynical plan to sell to others. If people like my work and buy it, then great (oh yes, I forgot the all important being published part first). If they don’t like it, then that’s life. We must be true to ourselves and our vision.

  56. This post brought some respite to my troubled muse. I just tweeted it.

    @suzannelilly Allow your creativity to flow. #Write that #novel before worrying about market placement, per Nina Killham. #amwriting http://bit.ly/bj7FvB

  57. Agreed, its too much to juggle what people like these days with with trying to express something thats coming from yourself, everything has become so warped!

  58. IR

    I’m just a writer. If someone wants to print something I write, then I will worry about what other roles I need to take.

  59. Thanks for a great post…

    “Best to just ignore them all and go with your gut instinct.” When writers do this, that’s when great writing is created!

  60. Amazing! Now I know why I’m blocked. I Guess I was seeing my words with a price. Let’s see what can I do to get better.

    Nice post =D, bizarre photo X(

  61. Yikes! What a picture! No wonder you got on Fresh Pressed! Good article too – gut instinct and love…what more could we ask for.

  62. Songbird

    Yes! Forget about your fears and marketing and target audiences and designing the book cover before you have written ONE WORD… just WRITE!!! Let it flow…

  63. I’m still trying to figure out how that image fits in with what you’ve said… conjures up some pretty interesting scenarios!

  64. Maribeth

    We should fear not writing instead of writing.

    Great post,


  65. The post is amazingly true… there are so many reasons that causr the writer’s to lose faith and this one tops the list…
    After a writer’s block that went for almost a year i also came to realise its not about others..not even the readers its about what u create..


  66. Some great points…but marketing does have its place. Before writing for children wouldn’t you want to choose an age demographic? You wouldn’t want to waste your time writing and suddenly half way through the work decide that what you really were working towards was the age demographic 2 to 4 years and marketing research reveals that kids ages 2 to 4 just don’t read your kind of book. Yes, you can barrel on with your writing but do not be surprised when it doesn’t sell. On the other hand, if you are the sort of writer who gets fed up with all the self-help books out there…just write what is in your heart and mind. Cannot hurt. The second and third book you just might want to put some thought into who might want to read it. My first mystery novel…i just wrote it. For those who want to write romance…check out my word press blog for a bit of advice. I hope it helps in some small way.

  67. lisa

    when I read this stuff about what is required to write a book, I then realize I will never be anything. It deeply saddens me to know this. I am an english student in colleget at 40 yrs old. I forgot all my grammar skills and I am really struggling to get it all. All i really want to do is write a book about my anxiety and ocd and try so bad to help others out there with the same problem, but editing all this stuff myself, nope I couldnt do it. so I am so depressed right now knowing that this is as far as ill get with my writing.

  68. Thanks! I really appreciate what you’re saying here. I’m trying to publish my first novel at present and it is daunting to say the least. I have, however, always gone with my gut instinct and I do not want to get onto how-do-I-make-my-book-sellable? track. Of course it must be sellable, that’s an inextricable part of all my efforts, but my novel is only valuable because of what it says and how I’ve said what I have to say, the objectives of which are not pecuniary. It feels like very much like a betrayal to alter anything in my ms for the sake of marketability–readability of course, but not marketability!

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  71. I agree with you. While we may dream of writing and publishing a novel that becomes an instant best seller, we have to write the novel first and be true to it. A story is just a story, and should not be influenced by who is going to read it or what section of B&N it should be found it. Write the book first, let it breathe, then worry about all the publishing woes after.

  72. I like this post. It is true that creativity is hindered by putting a price on the final product. We think in terms of return rather than output, and this puts restraints on productive creativity.


  73. ninakillham

    Thank you all so much for your comments. This blog certainly hit a nerve! Some of the comments have been quite moving. Good luck to everyone with their writing! all my very best, Nina

  74. daniel1971

    3 thumbs up.

  75. WR2

    There might be a larger issue here as well; to be satisfied a person must absolutely understand their end goal. Having been a professional working musician for years the one sure way to kill creativity is to impose a deadline or operating parameters. Ignore the chaff around you and just go!
    Thanks for the article.

  76. Michelle Brown

    Great post, and so true. I began my first novel with these great characters, great story line, inspirational purpose…and then (knowing which publishing companies I most wanted to market it too) I began writing with an imaginary editor over my shoulder. I’m most frustrated with my main character because she is not marketable, but she is who she needs to be…if that makes any sense. In the process, however, she has become rather two-dimensional.

  77. I feel the exact same way. There are so many people telling me that I should read all of these books about writing a book, but I feel that I should just let me be myself. I don’t care if this book is an instant best seller, just that it’s out there for people to read. This post has encouraged me even further to pursue my writing career. Thank you!

  78. Your post stirred quite a reaction in me…in a good way! Thanks for your liberating message.

    Recently, I shared my precious manuscript baby with a person running a business to help writers publish “the right way.” She looked at me over wire-rimmed spectacles framed by her neatly groomed white hair and asked the question I so dread.

    “Did you already write the book?”

    “Yes.” I whimpered. I knew my answer screamed “AMATEUR!”

    Then, the all-to-familiar look came and I glanced down in shame thinking, “Gosh, I love my new baby. Her inception resulted from a passionate love affair between a lifetime spent living the contents and my all-consuming lover, journal writing. Do I really need to give her up for adoption because I wrote her before pitching a nonfiction book proposal?”

  79. A really usefull post 🙂 Thanks for posting.

  80. AMEN SISTA! This was the perfect blog for me to read today. Thanks for sharing!

  81. Neil Moser

    Yes! I hate when everything turns all gross and corporate, sucking the creative energy out of our souls, leaving us withered and wordless. Thank you for this reaffirmation. We need to stay close to our art, not remove ourselves from it lest we forget why it was created in the first place. Ha. I don’t think I’ve ever used ‘lest’ in a sentence before.

  82. So true. Love what you’re doing first and foremost, and the rests will follow. Thanks for sharing.

  83. “All those writing books are just like baby raising books. They are constantly refuting each other.”

    Besides, the people who really know how to write well generally are out writing, not writing about how to write.

  84. Pingback: Fear of Writing | The Left Hand of Feminism

  85. I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  86. Writers write. When I create, I just start typing—creating. I am emptying my soul through my fingers. It’s not about a sale to me. There are entirely too many rules, too many opinions, and too many people attempting to steal the writer’s dream by selling how to get published, how to write a fascinating query, how to do this, and how to do that.

    Rejects! Fear! Rejects! Fear! Agents rejecting writers without ever reading the first three chapters or whatever they requested. They return clean manuscripts. No finger-flipped pages, no smudges, no Read. Oh! Did I forget to tell you about the query?

    It is now graffiti with nasty remarks—so unnecessary. Who needs that? Who wants it? I do not want to work with people who debase. I am not saying give up. I am saying stand up. Keep writing. Please do not allow so-called literary ruses to underestimate you.

    I actually used to believe that writers, agents, and publishers work as a team, but that is not reality. Writers seeking approval from a world unknown become victims of their own vanity. ‘Cause people think more of themselves than is necessary.

    My worth is priceless, and so I write. I don’t like rules when I create. I just write. Emily Dickinson did the same. Some people do not recognize talent. Artists just create. Isn’t it beautiful just to be?

    Vivian Dixon Sober

  87. Write something marketable = write something that’s been done already.

    I can’t believe how many writing books teach writers that being derivative is a good thing.

    I’m glad my writing is hard to classify, though I may never be published because of it.

  88. What if every toilet had a mouth like that?

  89. theaveragepoet

    Great article! Guts are the best.

  90. This nailed my feelings on the topic. Too much aimed writing with too little actual substance.

    Write what you love, whatever the genre. If you’ve got that fabled mix of passion and talent, your writing will shine and the right people will notice.

  91. WOW!Amazing pic, and great post!

  92. I thought this was so well said…

  93. My sentiments exactly Nina! I have just commenced my blog and am beginning to piece together all that I know about Internet Marketing and I plan to document every day the things I will do to grow my business!
    What that will be will be when I get there!

    Good luck with yours,

  94. Some great advice. However I don’t totally agree. On the one hand I think you’re right about the marketing buzz getting out of hand and the fact that we need to follow our gut instinct. On the other hand I think having a specific reader or audience in mind can keep your writing consistent. That being said, I don’t think having a reader in mind is the same as having a reader in mind and a market strategy in place and so on! A writer need only worry about generating great ideas, tapping into their creative flow, manipulating language to tell great stories and so on. Thanks again.

  95. Good luck. And whatever you do, DON’T go the way of Stephenie Meyer OR self-publishing.

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  97. whuffie

    So very well said and I passed it on to a friend of mine who is breaking into the field as we speak.

    I couldn’t agree more, and applaud you!

    I write because I’m compelled to write. I have stories and ideas which wash through my head and putting them down on paper is the only way to release my expression. I think I’d go starkers if I didn’t, but I’ve never really wanted to get published. All writers need to keep it from the heart, otherwise it won’t be worth reading. Art without passion is like food without seasoning – bland and worthless.

  98. Hit that one right on the nose… Thank you!

  99. Ha! Indeed, don’t forget the love. I adore this kick in the pants. Seriously. I wonder how many of us are sitting on our hands ignoring the lines that are nibbling at us as we work on developing the ad copy, the book tour, the cover art…maybe some pre-folded dogeared pages as well?

  100. OMG, I just spent hours talking to my partner about all the things I am working on and I came to the conclusion, I need to stop talking and actually start producing. Just talking about it has become stressful. I need a product, then I will talk. “We are trying to market before we’ve even created.” I have to put that as my facebook status!

  101. Sam

    An excellent piece because I can relate to it. I have a lot of articles which I wrote in secret. It took one moment where my brother read one of the articles and encouraged me to write out in open with the thoughts and knowledge I have and not to think what others would say. It worked for me. And I agree wholeheartedly that ‘we are trying to market even before we’ve even created’ because we really all that whether we realize that or not. And unfortunately this process kills the inner capabilities.

  102. Hear hear! Well blogged …

  103. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    Just think of how many great books were published before there were books on how to write a great book!


  104. I completely understand the fear. I tried starting a writers group tonight and no one came. I have a few RSVP’s for the next one in 2 weeks, but was surprised at the turnout for this one. And I advertised for over a month!

    Too many times, we get afraid to really put ourselves out there, but if we don’t we’re not making our dreams happen. For me, blogging has been the gateway to getting my writing out there and being “published”.

    As I researched some freelance writing sites today, I too noticed what you all were talking about. They said we could write what we wanted, but then had pre-approved Titles for articles that the writer could pick from and write on. It just seems to stifle the creative process since I never plan what I’m going to write. It just comes. Can anyone relate?
    My writing is Divinely Inspired and spontaneous. Yet, I want to be able to make a living from it.
    Does anyone have any specific paying freelance sites that they like and or recommend? I’d love to hear form you. Thanks!

  105. Sayali D

    A post I would love to read again and agin.It’s inspiring.Thank you.


  106. r34r314r

    So very well said and I passed it on to a friend of mine who is breaking into the field as we speak.

    I couldn’t agree more, and applaud you!

    I write because I’m compelled to write. I have stories and ideas which wash through my head and putting them down on paper is the only way to release my expression. I think I’d go starkers if I didn’t, but I’ve never really wanted to get published. All writers need to keep it from the heart, otherwise it won’t be worth reading. Art without passion is like food without seasoning – bland and worthless.

  107. Any gold has a price on it. Worthed to come out of the fire with great banners for all. Fire isn’t that bad in these sence. Yeah, to me gold has a price indeed. Worthed, worthed. You are right! Without the “love” ingredient what for?
    ~Great Love to You,
    Mirian from peelingtheorange. “)

    Great Blessings to you in that babies that are in their way!!!

  108. the great challenge of sitting down to write a piece is the fear that looms ahead as we picture the shape of what our writing ought to look like [read like] and the awed constriction that follows even before we’ve inserted the first word on our pad.

  109. kalafina


  110. That toilet picture is really scary.
    I have no idea who my ‘audience’ is. My blog is all book reviews…but, I hate writing long-winded descriptions of plot and character, so I don’t. Does that mean my reviews are for people who’ve already read the books? Who knows….? And if they are…why are people reading reviews of books they’ve already read?
    I need some perspective I think…
    rant rant rant…

  111. what a toilet now that’s were I’m afraid of ha ha ha getting your butt eaten by a toilet bowl with teeth and tongue on it that’s pretty nasty he he he. nice post, i guess writing a book is not that easy, who knows you might be the one to write and publish a great one. 🙂

  112. Just what I needed to hear. I’m sharing this with all my writing compadres. Awesome post!

  113. ninakillham

    I’ve been so heartened by all the responses to my blog. The comments are still coming in! Mainly I’m thrilled because it shows us all how much we are NOT alone with our fears. Courage everybody. And thank you for all the comments. xx, Nina

  114. Great post! Thank you… so true. Great advice – write from the heart – that is what will touch someone else.

  115. I have stalled on my blog, not really knowing who the heck it’s aimed at and wondering who would read it. But this post just encourages me to write because I enjoy it. If other people enjoy it, that’s a plus.

    The picture made me laugh. My my, what a toilet!

  116. Excellent blog. The title Fear and Writing caught my attention because that is exactly what I feel when I start to write – Fear. I am slowly getting over it by writing for myself. I just tell myself if other’s love it – fine – if they don’t – fine – because I love it. And I love your Blog.

  117. blackwatertown

    Ha ha. Great. On both counts.

    It’s bad enough writing your own story without having to twist it into what someone else wants before you have even started. Good to think about that stuff later on though.

    I’ve written the book. The opening lines are here http://wp.me/pDjed-7I
    All feedback welcome. The book is called Blackwatertown.

    Now I just need an agent, and a publisher and all that difficult stuff you’re talking about.

    As for babies, beyond the medical, I tried to opt for mellowness and common sense over paranoia and fads. Or to put it another way, I asked myself – What did my mother do?
    Seems to be working out OK. Touch wood.

  118. As an inveterate unconventional, I never expected too many readers on a blog I only dreamed of seeing in book form. Nevertheless, like the impossibility of eating only one potato chip, having readers whets the appetite. Thanks for this delightful reminder of the “reason for being.”

  119. Very true, and what I needed to hear this morning.

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  121. saneaty

    Great picture and even greater advice. Thank you for this! It’s obviously helped a ton of people already!

    (And I also love the Terry Pratchett quote writernme–he’s one of my heroes).

  122. Ken

    That was a great posting! So true! 🙂

  123. Lulu

    first of all, the toilet made my day! hehehe
    Secondly, I do feel afraid of writing sometimes. I feel afraid that I may sound silly, odd, etc in the eyes of my readers whom I don’t know who.
    But lately I’ve come to realize that I need to be what I want to be, and I just love to write anything I write, just like any other people who commented here; If they like my writings- that’ll be a plus for me, but if they don’t- that’s fine, because I like writing.

  124. blunderbore

    I love to write about things that I care about. Quite a few of those things are just the things that make me helpless, coz I feel cribbing is all I can do about it.

    I am not a negative writer though, I just think I never gave writing such a serious thought.

    This small piece of writing I stumbled upon, is quite an interesting one. And much inspiring for the likes of me. I think I can start to think of writing as something really doable… 😀

    Thank You!

  125. Lisa

    Thank you Nina!!!! I really needed this…all of these things were on my mind and I was trying to shut them out. I love this post….especially the end about not forgetting about the love. That’s why we started writing in the first place….easy to forget with deadlines and demographics and blurbs and all that stressful stuff.

  126. The title stood out and struck me as something I really need to read this morning. I recently started a blog, but I’ve been agonizing over the idea that no one will like anything I write, or worse, care to even read anything I’ve written at all. Thanks for reminding me that I started out doing it for me, for my own personal self-expression and gratification, rather than for the masses. I think that every budding writer should read this; a lot of us are crippled by our fear of rejection and are losing our own voices as a result!

  127. This is exactly where I am at. Thank you for reminding me why I write.

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  130. In art, the whole deal is to be yourself. Some will like it; some won’t. If you write true to yourself, it’s worth the effort. If you don’t, it’s not worth anything anyway.

    As far as I know, I’m the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. I figure unique is good enough.

    Dr. B

  131. Nina! Thank you so much for commenting on one my reviews. I’m new to this whole blogging thing, but you’re the first person to ever comment on a blog entry of mine! It was especially nice that you were so positive. You made my day!

  132. It should always come from the heart, otherwise it risks being meaningless and flat; great post!

    Respect and Peace!

  133. ninakillham

    Hi Lisa, thanks so much for commenting on my blog. Perhaps you could start with a blog. I’m sure a lot of people could relate to anxiety and ocd. I wish you all the best, Nina

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  135. ninakillham

    WR2, those are wise words. Thanks for the input!

  136. ninakillham

    Absolutely, Tomcat. Go you!

  137. ninakillham

    Yes, I think for me, info overload in general, is taking its toll!

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