Day 1 Are You Scared?

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Let me answer the title question, YES! The writing adventure begins today. This is my seventh year tackling the challenge of writing every day. Every year I wonder what will I write about every. single. day.

Last week, I decided to peruse through Kate Messner’s book, 59 Reasons to Write, hoping that there would be a spark of inspiration I could use. She did not let me down. I found help for today in Lesson 7: Writing Scared. She talks about two kinds of fear. One keeps you safe from dangers, but the other is the uncomfortable feeling we get when we are about to try something new. The fear starts to whisper in your ear, “What do you think you are doing?”

She reminds me that this fear is one to seek because it stretches you as a person. She says, “So go on now. Be scared. Be brave. And write.” This is the month I stretch a little more as I write, try on some new types of writing, and find joy in the smallest moments of the day.

She ends the lesson with a prompt: Sometimes, writing scares me because . . . (feel free to use this prompt on a day you are stuck)

Writing scares me because it’s personal. It’s you sharing your thoughts for the world to critique and analyze. Isn’t that what my teachers did for every piece of writing I completed? Did anyone ever talk to me about my work? No, it was simply returned to me with all my errors glowing with red markings. My paper became my teacher’s paper. It said what she wanted it to say.  

I didn’t think I could write anything that someone would want to read. That thought stopped me, until I began writing small slices of life for thirty-one days in March and on Tuesdays the rest of the year. The comments fueled me to continue writing. I still didn’t see myself as a writer for a very long time. Now I have to acknowledge, yes, I am a writer. So, even though writing scares me, I know I can do it.

So come along with me this month, perhaps I will look to Kate for more ideas, or share a recipe, or try poetry, or find inspiration within the slices I read. This is the month when I stretch my writing muscles. I. Am. A. Writer.

28 thoughts on “Day 1 Are You Scared?

  1. carwilc says:

    Writing scared? Hmmmm. I think I need to push myself to try some new topics. Maybe I need to get Kate’s book.

  2. Michelle @litlearningzone says:

    Here we go again, Elsie! Love how you found inspiration, shared the resource and tried it out — always a teacher! We CAN do this … what’s 30 more days? Happy writing!

  3. I love this. God, it feels like you’re a master teacher leading the charge for so many of us back here. I always come to your posts feeling rejuvenated. Something about the way you write is inspiring. It’s honest and carefree but evident of how much heart you put into it. I should be more specific I know and point out some examples of how you do it, but I’m tired 🙂 Forgive me. I be better this month in commenting earlier and more specifically. You are a writer, Elsie. You do try new things. You’re a wonderful mentor and reader for all of us year-round and especially right now. Glad to read and see you again this March.

  4. mandyrobek says:

    You can do this! I am surprised to read you are scared of writing – your pieces sound natural to me. I love the idea of using a resource to grow as a writer and might have to check out Kate’s book.

  5. mrsday75 says:

    I love coming back to your blog and feeling so at home. I think we all get nervous at the beginning of the month, don’t we? But here we are, back for our 7th year. Crazy…

  6. I love your writing journey. It feels like we have had similar obstacles to overcome. I always felt that I should have had a writing project teacher instead I became one. It just took me/ us a bit longer to find our writing voice.
    So glad we are writers together.

  7. tamtomatoe says:

    A very inspiring post for March 1, Elsie! Like your red ink. Write for others. Write for yourself. “It’s all good.” This last phrase has come to mind a lot this year. Happy March, sweet Elsie!

  8. This is a great prompt from Kate! I try to remember those two types of fear and remember to be brave when one is trying to scare me down. Let’s walk this journey together this month — all of us!

  9. Leigh Anne says:

    I have had that book in my Amazon cart for a long time, but is one I keep putting off to buy. Maybe I need to rethink that. It has popped up in a couple of places today. Thank you for helping me to be brave!

  10. So true! This is the fear I stare down each March 1st. Looking ahead at all the days before me where I’ve committed to this scary thing…it’s daunting. But I know I can do it because I have done it. I might not publish the best piece every day but that’s ok too. I love your thoughts here and I think there’s some inspiration in knowing every is a little scared on this day; not just me. Here’s to a great month of stories!

  11. It sounds like many of us began our journey as writers during the March challenge, and now we can’t stop! Your post echoes my experience with teachers and my hesitation and lack of confidence. Now you’d have to pry the pen “from my cold, dead hands!” By the way…I really, really enjoy your posts and your photography and am looking forward to your March slices.

  12. You have really nailed it, elsie. Writing is scary. It is all about stretching ourselves. After all, how else can we grow? Looking forward to seeing your growth. Here’s to a great month.

  13. Oh, what a delight it is to read the first day posts of so many writing friends! Love these words you shared from Kate’s book: ““So go on now. Be scared. Be brave. And write.” I can’t wait to read your posts this month. Looking forward to some of your wonderful posts that combine photos and poetry.

  14. Terje says:

    Being scared means you are moving out of your comfort zone – the place where learning happens. We can all celebrate that we are risk-takers overcoming our fears. I am happy to be on this writing journey together. Feels much safer. 🙂

  15. Once again every single word you have written here speaks to me. Yes, I am scared. Yes, I look forward to finding the joy in the smallest moments of the day. Yes, those red-flagged papers were indeed what my teachers wanted to say. And YES I, too, am a writer. Thank you, my writing friend!

  16. Judy C. says:

    I can remember that first year Michelle encouraged me to write. What, Me, A Writer? Hmm. Still scared each time I post – what do I know about writing and what do I have to share? Thanks for all your slices and kind comments.

  17. I think I might need to get myself a copy of this book. Than you for sharing it with us. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when you start to see yourself as a writer. Yes, the slice of life challenge allowed me to see myself as a writer too. I can’t wait to read all of your slices this March!

  18. Yes you are! And a good one at that! It’s so true that we all still get scared when we start out writing. It’s vulnerable and raw, but if it wasn’t, would it be worth reading? Or writing it?

  19. lindabaie says:

    It’s hard to believe we’ve been writing for 7 years, Elsie. Love that you accessed Kate Messner’s book, a very good idea! Here we go. . .

  20. Oh, I forgot about that book. Thank you for the reminder. I will be even more appreciative in a few weeks when it feels as though my well has run dry. Have a great month of writing!

  21. Yes. If I’m not a bit scared I feel as if I’ve cheated. Funny. And, yes. You. Are. A. Writer. Looking forward to reading your posts this month.

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