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Fear and hunger in Las Sheffield

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
2 min read

Do you know what? I think I might have the fear.
I’ve written a novel, completed an MA and spoken at lots of literary events. I’ve even set up a website to talk about writing and share what I’ve learnt over the years. Heck, every day I go to work and get paid to write.

But do you know what? I’m pretty sure I’ve got the fear.

You see, it’s a while since I wrote fiction on a regular basis. And I mean proper, serious fiction. Like a novel, novella or significant short story; anything I might write with an eye on publication.

I know why, too. It’s because I got married last month. We did everything ourselves. Bunting and cupcakes. Sign posts and service sheets. It took the best part of a year to build and prepare. And the hard work paid off.

It was beautiful. Best day of our lives. Wouldn’t change a thing.

But I didn’t write much fiction. I was busy here too. Working on this website. Making connections. Building a platform. All those things that writers do these days.

Especially when waiting. Like I’ve been waiting. For my first novel to find a loving home with a suitable publishing house. For one chapter to end before the next can truly start.

That difficult second novel. That fear-inducing entity.

I have a title, of course. 1989 Bird Notes. That’s an exclusive. It’s about a boy who likes birds and burnt toast and gets kidnapped. I have fully-written sentences. Paragraphs too.

So maybe I have started. Maybe I don’t have the fear.

No. But neither do I have the routine. I’m out of practice and out of the habit. To write requires both. What feels like fear is nothing of the sort. It’s simply trepidation. Anxiousness. Worry.

Of starting again. Of finding the time. Of writing the unknown.

Back to the beginning. I’ve written a novel. I’ve completed an MA and blah, blah, blah. I’ve done all this before. I know this feeling and I know that, eventually, it will pass.

I will regain the routine and I will find my rhythm. Rediscover confidence.

Once I’m writing fiction (my beloved fiction) I will cease to fret, dilly or dally. I’ll sit in my seat at my desk and I’ll write. It will come naturally. There won’t be a problem.

Sure. There will be times when this feeling returns and I’ll no doubt think that it’s the fear once more. But by then it will be something else again. I’ll be fidgety, crotchety. Not anxious, but hungry.

I’ll make myself a sandwich. All will be well.

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I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.