The horror, the horror – Overcoming first-draft anxiety

Nothing will prepare you for what comes next once you decide to share the first page of something you’ve been working on for months. Nothing.

Some people say it’s all about being happy with what you’ve written. I urge you not to believe such people. Because if you take that step, and you make that first draft public, it’s no longer about “writing for yourself” – it’s about showing it to other people. People you don’t know. People who may think you suck. People who will not believe you want to do this as a full time occupation at some point. And of course, the rarer, kind people who encourage you, give you constructive feedback and look forward to taking a look at that better and improved second draft.

I only mention these people last, by the way, because they’re not nearly as scary as the people previously mentioned. Continue reading

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About a boy

I always had a deep affection for children. I’ll probably never know where it comes from. But as far as I remember, it was always, always there. The desire to care for someone who is not yet capable of understanding how much danger can lie in connecting little chubby fingers to the electric socket on the wall. The desire to comfort them once they learn for themselves that this (among many, many other things) causes them pain.

And it’s exactly this affection and desire to comfort which cause me to shoot out of bed when I hear a cry in the middle of the night. Continue reading