writing is scary

“I am convinced fear is the root of all bad writing.”

-Stephen King

The above is an excerpt from Stephen King’s On Writing.

What King means when he says this is that when a writer is afraid that the reader won’t fully understand them, they freak out and try to dress up their writing with fancier words and over-punctuation.  While having an extensive vocabulary is important, it is possible to drive a piece to the point where it just seems unnatural to the mind’s ear.  Where Mr. King is convinced that fear is the root of bad writing, I am convinced that he only half right.

Though I think he has a point, I also believe that the problem is bigger than simple misinterpretation.  Bad writers tend to write out of fear.  Appalling romances are known to come from writers who fear dying alone.  Horrendously extensive autobiographies usually come from people who fear the prospect of being forgotten.  Therefore, I think the true root of bad writing is the fear of misinterpretation and crappy plotting.

I am willing to admit that fear has gotten in the way of some of my best writing to date.  It has happened to me with school papers, newspapers, even writings I work on for fun.

Currently I’m writing an epic adventure and I find myself getting so wrapped up in the way I word things that I forget to get to the fundamentals of what’s actually happening in the story.  Not to mention the fear of what will happen if people don’t like my story.  This leads to inappropriately revealing new plot and character developments as well as outright crappy writing.

Even now, this could have been a great post, but I am so amped up on disagreeing with Stephen King and impressing people by going against his On Writing that I am forgetting what it is about his theory I disagree with.

In the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

My name is Lauren The Largemouth Bass and this was an almost intellectual blog post.


5 thoughts on “writing is scary”

  1. I saw your blog name a few days ago and knew that I would enjoy your writing haha

    “Appalling romances are known to come from writers who fear dying alone. Horrendously extensive autobiographies usually come from people who fear the prospect of being forgotten.”
    I literally lol’ed when I read that! It’s so true! Your transition from prompt question was especially impressive. The, “I am willing to admit” line was very smooth sounding and just sounded well placed. And your ending was awesome. Forest Gump all the way. I guess… that’s all I have to say about that.


  2. This post was very entertaining to read! You were very unique in the way that you expressed how you felt about the article. I do agree that fear isn’t the only reason that we having writing block but I think that it is a big cause for it. For this reason I agree with Stephen King’s article.


  3. Yes there is a placement for fear. i believe you also bring up an interesting point with interpretation. it makes me think of how the reader takes it. Will the reader sense lack of commitment in a piece of writing that is fearful?


  4. First of all, you are really funny. i liked reading your work. that is so cool that you are writing a epic adventure! i agree with what you are saying a lot, we can get so distracted with the wording and format of our work that we forget to add the content.


you made it to the end of the article. anything to say for yourself?

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