14 January 2008

Fear of failure - writer's block

Writing is very much on my mind this January. I did not write a list of resolutions for the new year, not even a list of wishes, as one overshadows the rest: write. Write the thesis, once and for all. Write all the bits and pieces already written here and there into coherent pieces. Write chapters from introduction to conclusion. Write, at some stage before the end of December, two little words: The End.

But writing is hard. It's hard to start writing, let alone stick at it; today I came across this interview with Markus Zusak, who wrote The Book Thief (another book I could read if I had written more, and thus had more time to devote to reading for pleasure). And this warmed my heart a little:

"some of what I feel are the best ideas in it came to me when I was working away for apparently no result. Failure has been my best friend as a writer. It tests you, to see if you have what it takes to see it through."

I hope I do.


Me said...

Hi Cathy!

I can relate very much to this post. Now is the time for great amounts of writing and fear of failing has kept my proverbial pen still. This fear has come with graduate studies, and is becoming ever present and consuming! I think the best advice is some that I got from another grad student the other day... the best thesis is the one that is finished ;-) Time for us to be daring and finish!

Cathy said...

I am so glad I am not alone in this finger/pen-paralysing fear :) I like the advice, and should adopt it for my motto this year!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever finish your thesis? If so, what was your trick? I've been stuck for 2-4 years now on an MS thesis.