October 09, 2014

The Boogeyman of Writing - Shirley S. Tye

There he lurks; under the bed; peeking through the window at night; peering over my shoulder during the day. At the computer, the boogeyman of writing whispers nasty little comments; “Who would be interested in reading that mumbo-jumbo?” Then he laughs wickedly as he rolls on the floor clutching his side; “You don’t have talent or any worthwhile ideas!”

Ouch! I’m practically in tears. Who am I kidding? Just myself in thinking I have even a smidgen of talent with the pen. I’m dreaming. As always, I’m dreaming. I’m a long-time sufferer of the head-in-the-clouds syndrome. You’re right, Mr. Boogeyman. I’ll put the pen down and back away from the computer. Oh, rats! The pen won’t stay on the desk and the clicking of the keyboard beckons me. I have to write. I want to write. I love writing!

Writing is an art. A rejection from one reader or editor doesn’t necessarily mean the writing is poor or the plot and characters are weak. They simply didn’t care for it; for any number of reasons. But like an oil painting or a sketch, it can be changed. As one painter learns from another or is encouraged by a fellow artist, a writer learns from other writers and receives encouragement and advice. Many times I’ve put my work out in fear and braced myself for the rejections and criticisms I’m certain would follow. Then to my surprise, most rejections were soft; it just wasn’t what they were looking for at that time. The criticisms were not hurtful attacks but creative critiques of how to improve the work. Oh, sure, I was disappointed but not for long. I examined my work and discovered ways to enhance it just as I do with my paintings and sketches.

Writing groups and writing work-shops are marvelous places to improve one’s writing, get helpful feed-back, encouragement, and direction. Write what is on your heart, with great passion and then toss it out. Maybe you’ll hit the bull’s eye. If not, try, try again. Never let the boogeyman of writing hold you back from what you love to do. Write!


  1. "I have to write. I want to write. I love writing!" This is what keeps us going even in the fear of being rejected. If we love writing, we always find a way. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Perhaps our diffidence is part of genuine humility? the opposite--anything I write is a masterpiece, is plain arrogance!
    But the devil would like to turn our caution into ineffectiveness. Thanks for your colourful reminder.

  3. That boogeyman sure gets around. I think I've seen him looking in my window at night too, and for sure he natters over my shoulder.

    Thankfully he does not have the last word. Perfect love casts out all fear.

    I am glad your pen and keyboard continue to beckon... they know that Father has placed heaven's words in your heart. And those words of hope are needed in our up-side-down world.

    Thanks so much, Shirley, for a very vivid post today.

    Brenda L

  4. A recent quote that shares a similar sentiment:
    "There are already millions of creative works in the world, so why should you add to that stockpile? The truth is that creativity is not rational - it is a yearning that comes from the heart."
    (No author listed)
    Thanks for writing!


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