When was the last time that you were truly petrified? For some it was having to stand and address a huge audience for the first time. For others, it was having to go on a first date with someone (slightly too good-looking for them). As we speak, some poor soul is lying on an operating table counting down from 10 while some mad-scientist-looking anaesthetist approaches them with a giant syringe and a grin. And yes all of the above certainly qualify for a nomination for the most-scary gong.
However, I can categorically state that as a writer, staring at that blank screen or page as one prepares to write their first book can be one of the most intimidating things that a creative soul can face.Those first few tentative words of the first chapter of your very first book, can be likened to doing a parachute-jump for charity — only to discover (just before you leap out of the plane) that the company that made your parachute, isn’t really a company at all! It was just some nutter with an Amazon account and some killer Photoshop skills that convinced you to make the purchase. So, there you are at the 12,000 feet with crazy eyes, random bowel movements, and a heart full of silent prayers!
Yes. That’s how writing for public consumption can feel at times. It requires the kind of do-or-die courage that only comes by facing one’s deepest fears head on. That is why you must face that blank screen/page today; and the only way to do that is to start sprinkling your thoughts on it. Just write! One small step for you, but one giant leap for your confidence.
Consider this: you may never be granted a better opportunity to write your masterpiece than right now. It may not feel like everything in your life is in perfect alignment to be creative, but that can sometimes be the very thing that gives your writing the edge! You see, even your pain and frustration serves a purpose. It provides the kind of raw, gritty edge to your voice that makes you authentic to your readers.
So, don’t allow the fear of leaping off the plane to govern what you do next. Rather, let the desire to fly fuel your literary adventure.
By Michael Ekwulugo (Author of It’s Your Time (your generation awaits you)