More Fearless Writing

 
I’ve become a great fan of William Kenower’s book, Fearless Writing. So, I was more than a little interested when he posted a link to a recent interview with Blogger, Kathy Pooler, who has a website called Memoir Writer’s Journey.

I’ve snipped a few paragraphs from that interview, because they illustrate why Bill Kenower’s book is so effective. It’s as much or more about how to live as about how to write. Try this: Read the paragraphs below as if Bill was talking about your life, not about a story you’re writing. E.g “To create you Life, you must… etc.”:

“To write your story you must love it unconditionally.You must love it simply because you love it, be interested in it simply because you’re interested in it. You don’t love it because other people might love it, or because your writing group praised it, or because you think it will get published and bring you lots of money and win you a bunch of awards – you love it simply because it feels good to focus your attention on it. Most people live conditionally. We think about outcomes and about what pleases other people.

“Your portal to your greatest creative potential is your unconditional love of what interests you. Open that door, and what you most want in your life will flow through it.

“Confidence is accepting your inherent self-worth. It is not a product of craft or really even experience, although experience is often what teaches us that we were born worthy of telling any story we want to tell. When you rest in your confidence it will be the most natural thing you can possibly do. At first, it will feel strange and new and maybe thrilling, but that is only because you are used to the discomfort of thinking you are not worthy. Soon you get used to your inherent self-worth, and then people will start saying, ‘You’re so confident!’ and you will think, ‘It’s not actually that big a deal.’

“There is no failure. There’s only lifelong learning to find your inherent fearlessness.”

 

Fearless Writing

My favorite book about writing:

 

 
William (Bill) Kenower also has a wonderful blog, or whatever they’re calling such things these days: Author Magazine
Here’s an excerpt from a recent post that may help explain why I love Bill’s book:

Making money is a lot like a game we are all made to play. As we line ourselves up at the starting line of adulthood, money can seem to be a universal measurement upon which everyone’s value is based. After all, everyone wants it, and everyone would like more of it, and some succeed in making lots and lots of it and some do not. I was one of those who did not.

I did not because my energy was split. I am a writer. I do not write to make money. I write because I love to write. I had written stories since I was a boy. In this way, writing was like play. Earning money, meanwhile, seemed like the most adult thing I could do. And so I played a game I didn’t want to play: the game of making money for money’s sake. I thought it was a stupid game, but I was still unhappy when I lost at it.

I lost and lost and lost at it until I decided to play a different game: I would see how much money I could make doing something I would happily do for free. I knew when I began playing this game that I did not really understand the rules, nor was I very good at it. No matter. The key to any game is the wanting to play it, and I wanted to. By and by, I got better at it, and I am still playing it today.

Games are great, but it is important to remember that they’re make-believe. We create the starting line and finishing line; we make the rules and choose the prize. And no one has to play. I can quit anytime I want, and look around the playground, and see what interests me most. That interest, that ceaseless creative impulse that has traveled with me my entire life, remains the only authority to which I must listen. Only it knows which races are worth my running, and which ones can be left to others.