YA Highway: fear itself


Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

To participate, just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link in the comments at YA Highway.

This week’s prompt:
What’s the biggest writing mistake you’ve made?

I don’t make mistakes.

Okay, I do. But not writing mistakes. I don’t believe in writing mistakes.

Sometimes you have to use up all the wrong words before you can find the right ones. Following a tangent can lead to a road you never knew existed. Two uninteresting characters can morph into one unforgettable protagonist.

If you’re a perfectionist like me, that’s easier said than done. It’s hard to grant yourself the freedom to make a mess without thinking you’re “messing up.”

I’ll admit it: I’m afraid of messing up. I’m afraid of using the wrong words. I’m afraid of following tangents that turn into dead ends. I’m afraid of writing boring characters.

But as I slog through the first draft of the new work-in-progress, I have to remember that the only real mistake would be giving in to my fear of making mistakes.


6 thoughts on “YA Highway: fear itself

  1. RachelBateman says:

    This is a great view on things! When it comes to what we actually write, there are no mistakes. Sure, we might have a lot of edits later because what we write is messy, but the messiness helps us learn and might lead to the best parts of the book. I just need to keep remembering that when I feel like I am making a ton of mistakes in my writing. 🙂

  2. Angelica says:

    Luckily, my perfectionism doesn’t kick in until revisions. But, I have to say I learned a lot by writing my first book, and I don’t feel the need to vomit so much verbage for the first draft of my second book.

  3. Tracey Neithercott says:

    I completely agree. I’m a perfectionist and for years I put off writing a novel because I was afraid I’d fail or mess up somehow. And still while I’m writing I’m desperately trying not to mess up. And then I’m desperately trying not to care about whether I mess up. The whole process is tiring.

  4. sarah says:

    Okay, the “argh!” sticky note on your MS in the picture—I love it. And this is a really good point! In writing, it’s wrong to call something a mistake. We learn from every word we write–a lot more than we learn from NOT writing.

  5. Alison Miller says:

    Awesome and inspiring post! I have a similar attitude with my most recent WIP. After fighting with my inner editor and debating every possible avenue, I just decided to write my story and let it take me where it wants to. Despite my outline, despite my fears.

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