Words are hard.
They shouldn’t be. They should come easy, pouring out of us as readily as a stream flows through it’s bed, dripping over a cascading waterfall and into the pool below. That’s how we imagine writing to be, that it’s a never ending flow or words … we just never stop to think about what happens when someone puts a rock in the stream, or a drought comes and dries up the flow …
Words are hard, because each word is purposeful and pointed. Within a story, each word matters and it has its own tale to tell. And, sometimes having the wrong word within a story can cause it to utterly break down. Just as, sometimes fear of that wrong word causes the blockage that stops the story from flowing onwards, as that one pesky word torments us and tell us that we’ve lost the way we were going.
But it’s not just words that are the problem, but blank pages. You wouldn’t think that a blank page would be as intimidating to us as writers, and yet they are. They stare at us, in all of their blank glory as though daring us to soil their pristine look with words … as though taunting us that we’re not good enough to put those words on the page …
And over time, those pesky words and that intimidating blank page wear us down … sometimes they even win.
Until, one day, quite out of the blue we realise that we have a story to be told. A story that needs to be told, a story that deserves to be told. Even if it’s for no one else to read.
We fear the unknown, fear judgement and the repercussions of it sometimes … and sometimes, those are the things that stop us in our tracks. I know they’ve stopped Charlotte and I at times, sometimes one of us more than the other and at other times both of us together. But really, when we think about it … what’s there to fear in a blank page? What’s there to fear in a wrong word?
The important thing, at the end of the day, is to put that fear aside and write. Write and let the stream flow once more and cascade into the pool of water below … then, and only then, can we start to sift through the ripples and find the real magic in our story.