The Write Practice

The Online Writing Workbook

What Are You Waiting For?

You have a story you’re afraid to write.

You know the one I’m talking about. The big one. The dangerous one. The one you’ve been putting off. The one you just don’t have time for.

Yves Klein's Leap Into the Void

“Leap Into the Void” by Yves Klein. Thank you to Seth Godin for reminding me of it.

I’m Afraid, Too

When I launched The Write Practice a year and a half ago, the truth is I was afraid. I didn’t know if anyone would read it (and in the beginning, no one did). Honestly, most of those first few months, I wanted to hide. I thought everyone was going to think I was a complete fraud.

But The Write Practice is the second best thing I’ve ever done in my life (marrying my wife is the first). It could have failed, and it still would have been worthwhile. I spent most of my life hiding, running away from fear, trying to stay comfortable. It was a pretty boring life. The Write Practice showed me I could make something special. I just had to work through the fear.

For the last year, I’ve been putting something off. I’ve been afraid. I thought everyone was going to think I was a complete fraud, and it stopped me from doing what I knew I needed to.

However, in two-and-a-half months my wife will give birth to our first child. I don’t want to teach my son to give into fear. It’s time for me to stop putting things off.

The Truth About Your Story

You will never be ready to write your story.

You will never have enough time.

The fear won’t go away.

It’s time to stop making excuses for yourself. It’s time to come out of hiding.

Your story was meant to be shared. What are you waiting for? (You might want to tweet that).

It’s Okay If No One Is Listening

Stories were meant to be shared, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to listen to you.

Your job is not to force people to listen. Your job is to share your story in a way that creates a connection with those who are listening.

If people show up, if people enjoy your work, be grateful. It’s an honor to have their attention.

But if nobody shows up, if nobody likes your story, be grateful then, too. It’s an honor to have a story to tell. Go share another.

This thing we do, this writing, it’s a gift. You’re not entitled to a gift. The correct response is always “thank you.”

Facing Fear

I alluded to this earlier, but in late February or early March, I will be launching a new course to help writers share their stories. This is what I’ve been putting off for a year.

My fear is that you’ll think I’m a fraud, that I have no right to lead you, that I should be ashamed of myself for trying. In response, it would be easy to quote my credentials at you, but that would just be another way of hiding. So instead, I’ll just ask.

If you want to join me, to face your fears and learn to create better stories to share with the world, I’d love to have you. To get added to the list and find out when we open the course, you can sign up here.

What are you afraid of? What is stopping you from sharing your story? 

PRACTICE

Today, take a step, not matter how small, out of your hiding spot. Begin working on that story, the dangerous one.

Write for fifteen minutes, nothing extreme. This is a practice in vulnerability and courage. Hopefully, it will bring you one step out of hiding and into the light.

I believe in you.

NOTE: This post was inspired by Seth Godin’s new book The Icarus ProjectPlease, get this book. It will change your life.

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

Don’t Waste Your Time

Take the Twitter Challenge Pack and market your writing
without sacrificing your writing time.

The 14-day course features:

  • 7 multi-media lessons on how to connect with readers, find new ones, build your platform, and sell more books on Twitter.
  • 100 new followers guaranteed. If you don’t get 100 new followers after fully participating in the course, your money back.
  • 47 fun challenges to get started fast and discover advanced tools for authors who want to grow their platforms quickly.

Learn More

  • http://foodloveswriting.com/ Shanna

    “It’s okay if no one is listening.” YES. I love the way you approached this section especially. The gift is getting to share–the rest is details.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Thank you, Shanna. Agreed.

    • http://twitter.com/JMZeiger Jennifer M Zeiger

      Ditto Shanna. Too often we focus on how many people are listening and get sidetracked from the sharing. What a great reminder!

  • Elaine Cougler

    Your post speaks to me today on two levels: one, dragging my heels on actually publishing this book I’ve put my heart and soul into, and, two, writing my memoir because of that deep, dark hidden stuff. I am working hard at the first and the second keeps peeking out of its hole in the ground and looking at me. Great post, Joe!

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Mmm… yeah, that’s hard, Elaine. I hope you’ll do it. It will still be hard, but the alternative is much worse.

  • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

    Kissing up to your wife is the REAL reason most men blog. That and if they are single it is to find a wife. Haha. Just kidding.

    Great thoughts. You are the furthest thing from a fraud Joe. You’ve helped me more than you’ll ever know. It’s amazing to hear you have the SAME internal voice that says you are a fraud too. I’d be willing to bet that ALL OF US hear it. It’s just whether or not we admit it.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Thank you, Jim. I’m grateful to hear that you, at least, don’t think I’m a fraud.

    • Missaralee

      Seconded, Joe’s no fraud.

  • http://stacitroilo.com/ Staci Troilo

    I think getting married and having children are far more difficult than writing… it’s funny that we fear writing more. Maybe because writing is solitary but marriage and parenthood are partnerships, and who doesn’t want a partner when things are scary? You’ve done a great job with thewritepractice.com, and I’m grateful you faced your fears and created this forum for us. Thanks, Joe.

  • http://KatieAxelson.com/ Katie Axelson

    Love this. I definitely started a new piece this morning. When I put the first four sentences on the page I was terrified but with each one it’s gotten easier.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Good job Katie! Only ten thousand or so left to go. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ruthellenparlour Ruth Ellen Parlour

    I think every writer has similar feelings. I’m afraid that everything I write is wrong and I don’t know how to put it right. I’d certainly be interested in hearing more about the course.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I feel that way all the time. Especially after I’ve just written it.

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    Thanks for saying that it’s okay if no one is listening. It’s okay if no one pays attention. Share anyway.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Thanks DS. It’s true.

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

    Great thoughts, Joe. Your first sentence made me squirm. I just spent a few minutes writing down one that scares me. I’ve been blogging for several years and have shared many “dangerous” stories but there seems to be this imaginary line that I wont cross. Question for you…is your new course going to be mainly geared toward fiction writers?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I’m glad I made you squirm!

      It will be geared toward creative writers, but not exclusively fiction. What genre is your piece?

      • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

        :) I guess it falls in the creative non-fiction category.

    • Marla4

      Eileen,
      I love creative non-fiction!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Suzie-Gallagher/100001281206171 Suzie Gallagher

    This time last year, I had a FB profile with no picture, a number of half finished, quarter finished, one page finished short stories and three novel ideas, a few plays knocking about and some dire poetry.

    Around this time last year I stumbled across @KeithJennings blog and started making tentative comments. Eleven months ago he guested here and I started following this blog, attempting the odd practice. Encouraged by the feedback.

    A lot of other stuff happened last year too that meant I couldn’t hide my face anymore and the result: my FB profile has my face on it and I write here regularly.

    Three weeks ago I initiated a writing group in Killarney and ….

    I intend to publish this year, I will need an editor – does anyone know one {:-P}..

    Now I have said it I had better go write!!!

    And there is positively absolutely no fraud here, thewritepractice.com does exactly what it says and I have to say from the bottom of my heart thank you to Keith and Joe and all the regular practioners.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Keith is the best. He’ll have a cameo in the course. I’m excited.

      Thanks Suzie. I’m proud of you.

    • Marla4

      Suzie,
      I’m so excited for you!

  • Missaralee

    This post comes at a great time, Joe. I’m working on refocusing my blog to expose my true passion and mission to the light of day. Frankly, I’m scared stiff. I’ve been putting this off because I know that I have to put my most vulnerable voice out there. Otherwise who am I helping? No more hiding.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Do it, Sara!

    • Marla4

      Good for you, Sara!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jwarner33 Jay Warner

    I need to keep hearing this again and again and again until I believe it and I’m willing to take action. I guess I could keep waiting, and then my only epitaph will be “I should have….” I don’t want to go out of this world that way.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Me too, Jay.

  • http://twitter.com/silentbutcudly Tyerone Johnson

    This so me write now with my blog. I haves tone of content but like no one cares. The fear Joe is talking about is called the bystander effect. No one wants to be the first to challenge the status quo and risk failure or rejection but there are times we must take a stand even if no one follows us or listens. That’s what courage is all about.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I’ve been there, Tyerone. Keep going, keep saying thank you, keep making as good art as you can.

    • Stacey

      I hear you on this Tyerone. It’s scary but we wouldn’t have the world we have today if there weren’t people who were willing to be the first to challenge the state of things. I agree. Like you said, that’s what courage is all about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.dowden.12 Jack Dowden

    Fear has become a part of my daily life. The fear that something I write won’t be good enough, the fear that no one will read it, the fear that people will hate me and come to my house and burn it down because they don’t like what I write. The fear that nothing will come of this, nothing at all, and it’ll all have been for nothing.
    It’s like fighting a dragon, every day at dawn. Sometimes the little beastie wins. But when it doesn’t, you push through the fear and write. Everything else just sort of fades away with that. It’s a wonderful feeling, this fear. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Oh, that was your house? Sorry about that, Jack. Great comment, Jack. I’m slowly realizing I wouldn’t have it any other either.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jack.dowden.12 Jack Dowden

        That’s alright, I could barely afford the rent anyway. Times are tough, eh?

  • http://twitter.com/TravelerJuly Noe

    At this point I have essentially stopped posting or submitting any work to anyone because I know it won’t be liked. The last comment I got was to stop sending any more because it was boring. I am convinced that the things I like to write about and the way I write interest nobody but me else so there is no point in sharing.

    I think there might be at least a point to writing them, to keep me occupied, but sharing… no. There’s just no reason to share anymore.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      You’re fine, Noe. I saw this comment on your blog: “This for example is lovely. You mustn’t give up. You need to do more.” Apparently, you’re connecting with someone.

      • http://twitter.com/TravelerJuly Noe

        That was an expression of pity from someone after an unprofessional explosion on twitter. It is really nothing of worth.

        • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

          Trust me on this: any positive attention you get should be cause for saying, “Thank you.” You’ll be so much happier if you approach your writing, and your life, with lots of generosity and low expectations.

          • http://twitter.com/TravelerJuly Noe

            Isn’t the fact that the only way I can get any positive attention is by throwing a temper tantrum mean that all of it is fake and just an attempt to get me to shut up?

          • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

            Nope.

    • Marla4

      Noe,

      Keep writing! It does get better. And read, read, read. I’m sure you have a lot to say, and we’d all love to read it.

  • http://twitter.com/JewelsCat Giulia Esposito

    Joe, this comes at great time. I’ve been trying to fight fear forever. My fears around writing are so overlapping and numerous it’s hard to identify or describe them. But at some point since the spring, I’ve some to realize, I can either sit on my dream, or try to realize it. My first step has been sharing here on The Write Practice :) Thanks for this, and thanks for this great community! And I just want to say, I also think you are nothing like a fraud.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Oh good. Thanks Giulia. :) I’m glad you’re getting started.

  • mariannehvest

    A lot of people here are saying they are afraid their writing will be ignored. It makes me think about that saying “If a tree falls in the forest and . . . “. i’ve always been one who thought, ‘what a stupid question? If it fell it fell’. It seems narcissistic to me to think that if I, or one of my species, didn’t perceive it then it didn’t happen. I hate to have my writing ignored but it happens. Whether someone stumbles over it or not and likes it or not doesn’t mean I didn’t do it. I almost cannot keep from writing sometimes but then when I have the time and freedom to write I do things like read this blog. No really I read this blog because I feel somehow committed to it and the reason for that is when we write here we are read and commented upon. It’s so circular. Joe – you are not a fraud. You have started something great with this blog and put tons of work into it. Your effort has rewarded not just you but many others. What do you mean by a fraud anyway? Everyone should read Stephen Koch “The Modern Writer’s Library Workshop” and Steven Pressfield’s “The War on Art”. They are very different but both very helpful. My big fear is that if I don’t get off my butt and do it then I’ll die before it gets done. You all that are young need to be working on your writing now.

    • Marla4

      I feel the same way about the tree in the forest! You make some wonderful points, including those about Joe, and I agree. This place is a godsend.

      • mariannehvest

        Thank you Marla. I’m glad you said that about the tree. I always wonder if I don’t get it.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Thanks Marianne. I’m so grateful for the way you help lead this community. You are a rock. And agreed on both of those books. :)

      • mariannehvest

        Thank you Joe.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Suzie-Gallagher/100001281206171 Suzie Gallagher

      Well said Marianne, you are a wonderful supportive commenter here and we love you for it

      • mariannehvest

        Thank you Suzie. I feel the same about you.

  • Karoline Kingley

    I’m glad someone, and someone like you can empathize with me. But reading the comments, I can tell I’m not the only scared writer. I’m not just scared. I’m petrified. Sometimes so much so that it keeps me from telling my story. I’m scared that people might scoff at me because I’m young. It scares me when family members read my blog. Yet just as you said, a thank you is in order. The most selfish thing I can do with my gift is keep it to myself.
    asateenwriter.blogspot.com

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Exactly. I love your attitude, Karoline.

  • Jeff Ellis

    It is important for leaders to give credit to the will and freedom of their followers. If we follow you, it is because we choose to. What many people fail to realize is that even self-doubt can be a form of egomania (and I am not saying that you are an egomaniac) in that you put so much pressure on yourself to be the best for everyone, that you fail to realize we are all individuals with our own dreams, aspirations, goals, and most importantly: efforts. If I follow your advice, it is because I agree to do so and because I think doing so is worth my time. You are trying something that the rest of us (to my knowledge) are not and that is noble; win, lose, or draw.

    Don’t think that you are the only one holding up the weight of our success as writers, and as a community, just because you are our teacher. We all have shoulders and we bare the burdens of our dreams together, that’s what makes a community. We are all of us scared, but we are in it together as writers and as people. If you fail, Joe, we are not going to damn you and cast you away like some pariah. If you fail, we will hold you up and make sure that next time, you do better. But I think, in the end, we are all going to get as much out of this community and this new project as we put in, and you are putting in a great effort just by starting us off. Once we are on our way, it’s really a team effort from then on.

    And that is the end of my overly-preachy rambling. Chin up, man, you are doing good work with good intentions. That is all anyone can ever hope to do.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I loved this, Jeff. Thank you. I’m in!

      • Jeff Ellis

        Haha, thanks, I’m glad I could be of help. Let’s kick ass.

  • http://gabrielgadfly.com/ Gabriel Gadfly

    The new book I’m working on is a collection of poetry about grief and tragedy and healing from those upheavals — it’s been a tough work to write, as it has forced me to face some feelings and emotions that I had tucked carefully away and did not want to unwrap. This advice came at a good time.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I’m so glad. Can’t wait to read the collection, Gabriel.

  • Madison

    I’ve been putting bits and pieces of this story into my practices when I could, but I’ve been to scared to write the beginning. I’ve written the middle and the end, but not the beginning. I’m still extremely scared, but here it is:

    Amara was my best friend and my sister. We did everything together except secrets. Secrets are what she was best at and I don’t blame her. She tried to protect everyone that she loved: keeping their secrets, location, names until the day that they died. They did die. Death chased her whole life. When she had escaped to France, she thought it was over, but it wasn’t. Betrayal was what ruined everything, but she didn’t deserve that. She loved everyone.

    We caught Amara trying to break into our house. I never found out how she got to our chimney, but she slid through thinking the house was asleep. My dad pulled her out. She had on, he said, a thick black hood and her face was so covered in ashes. The candle in his had just lit her eyes, which were much lighter than her skin.

    For the few nights, she was a struggle. She didn’t want to get undressed and bathe and woke up screaming every night. I couldn’t talk to her, she wouldn’t let me. After about two days, she revealed to my mother she did, indeed, speak French. After I knew spoke French, I talked to her, without response, every night. She never said anything until I asked her what she dreams about that causes her to wake up in the night.

    • Marla4

      “Death chased her whole life,” is a great line. Good work Madison.

      • Madison

        Thank you!

    • http://twitter.com/JewelsCat Giulia Esposito

      Sounds like the beginning of a mystery to me. Intriguing piece, I like the reflective tone.

      • Madison

        It’s pretty mysterious. Amara, my character, is very mysterious. Thank you very much for commenting!

    • mariannehvest

      I like the narrators voice here. It sounds very exciting. Good luck with this.

      • Madison

        Thank you so much, it is very exciting!

    • Stacey

      I really like this. It immediately draws me in. I love that she came in through the chimney. I don’t know much about her yet but I already know that I won’t forget her. I’m curious to read more…

      • Madison

        Amara is an amazing person. I love her. And thank you so much. This means soooooo much to me!

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Love this: ” I never found out how she got to our chimney.” That’s such a fascinating image. You should lead with that.

      • Madison

        Thank you so much!

  • Annette Skarin

    I used to avoid the “void” I’m ready to “leap” now!

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Yes!

  • Marla4

    I’m on my yoga mat, inside a gym where the kids in this town
    come to play basketball after school. Every part of me aches. Even the spots
    behind my knees hurt. I am sweaty and thirsty and the kind of tired that you
    can’t reach, even after eleven hours at the office.

    The girl next to me is the unreasonably pretty, plus, she doesn’t
    sweat. But she seems nervous, something I’m too tired to be, and when the
    teacher jumps on the stage and grabs a mic, this girl next to me stands up,
    rubs her hands across the front of her thighs and shifts from one foot to the
    other.

    The teacher announces that we’re going to work on our insides
    now, and we laugh that nervous kind of laugh that echoes across the space. And
    then she calls this girl next to me up to the stage.

    Her name is Wendy. She is 36. When she was 16, she says, she had
    an abortion. She hated a few people after that, one of them herself. She talks
    about forgiveness, about Jesus, about a study group she leads to deal with the
    pain.

    “There’s someone here who needs this,” Wendy says. “I tried not
    to bring this up, but God wouldn’t leave me alone about it.” She held the mic
    closer to her mouth. “Private message
    me,” Wendy says, the tears falling down her face and onto her cropped T-shirt.

    We all look around, suspicious. Abortion in a small town in
    Arkansas is a big thing.

    We’re then given pens and paper and asked to write down the
    thing we hate most about ourselves, or a sin someone’s committed against us, or
    our latest greatest failure.

    I look up. I should have researched this group more before I
    handed over $100 to join. But I trusted my girlfriend, Jane, who had looked
    into it. No one said a word about Jesus,
    she mouths to me, and raises her hands, so I’ll believe her.

    It’s not that I don’t have faith. I was in church before I was a
    week old, but I don’t like to mix deep lunges and the Sermon on the Mount. When
    I shimmy to the right and shimmy to the left, I’m not thinking Jesus. I’m
    thinking about my own sins, and the curve of a man’s arm as it circles your waist
    and how it lifts you up. Which is why I’ve
    been sweating and pushing and drawing the ABC’s in the air with my feet, which cannot
    rise above six inches from the gym floor. Try it. It will near about kill you.

    Jane is bent over her paper. She’s writing and crying, and I see
    her dark hair covering her eyes, a gift I think, since I don’t want to catch
    her gaze.

    I look instead to my paper.
    I write, “I failed at Christmas,” which I did, but which also isn’t my
    greatest failure or an example of something that needs to be forgiven. But it
    is something that I could read aloud that would keep these other women from
    knowing me. I plan to tell how I didn’t
    bake or buy the right gifts or send out cards.
    Such a breach, they’ll think, but it won’t be something they’ll
    remember.

    I can hear crying now, these sweaty women, worn down from Boot
    Camp drills, reliving past wrongs, deep wounds, desperate misfortunes.

    They begin to stand. The fat one cheated when she was thin –
    three times. The anorexic – well, at least she looks anorexic – wishes her
    husband dead. The muscular one slapped her son this morning and is afraid the
    cops may come get her.

    I stick with Christmas. “My
    dog,” I say, “her name was Annabelle Jingle-Puppy. It’s on her registration.
    Schnauzer. All black. Big ears. A little attitude.

    “I felt the lump on her shoulder six months ago. Blew it off. ‘It’s
    nothing,’ my husband said, and I listened. At Thanksgiving she looked thin. I
    took her in. Lymphoma.

    “We tried chemo. But she was too sick. On December 10, we took
    her in. No, we carried her in. She couldn’t walk anymore. The vet came in and
    started talking about blood transfusions. My husband, who’s usually rock solid,
    started to crumble. ‘Maybe,’ he said.

    “And then I spoke up. ‘No,’ I said. ‘No more. We’ll just end up
    right back here, on death’s doorstep. And I can’t go through this again.’

    I realized I was close to tears, and so I stopped and bit the
    inside of my lip.

    “So, anyway, it wasn’t just Annie dying. I had to make the same
    decision with my mother. When to stop treatment. I was too young. I couldn’t
    let go. ‘Do everything you can,’ I said to a doctor who knew it wouldn’t work.
    And he did. I watched my mother in agony, the cancer like kudzu, invading her
    breasts and then her eyes and her liver. She couldn’t see for a while, but I
    didn’t let that stop me from hoping.

    “When they were taking blood gases one day, the needle like a
    plunger, I finally got it. My mother cried out, the sound like an animal. We
    switched to hospice care.

    “After she died, I dreamt that the funeral home called. ‘She’s
    alive,’ they said, ‘but just barely. We can take her back to the hospital, or
    we can finish her off here.’

    “Strange dream, I know,” I say, and laugh feebly. “But I dreamt
    it six times in one month. Every time I’d say, ‘Finish her off.’

    “So with Annie it was like I’d been there before, and the first
    time I failed, though you could argue I failed Annie too. The vet filled a
    syringe with pink poison and I held her paw. It was over like that,” I say, and
    try unsuccessfully to snap my fingers.

    “Anyway, I by ged sucked at Christmas. My pain was so deep, nothing
    filled it. We buried Annie in a little coffin my husband made. He doesn’t
    believe in God but affixed a cross to it anyway, for me, because I thought, in
    my crazy state, that God might look down at the cross and decide to take her on
    up to heaven. I really don’t know His policy on dogs.”

    I stood mid-court, wrecked as hell, and said this. “It was like
    losing Mama all over again.”

    Of course, I haven’t gone back. I’m a private person. I can
    sweat beside you, swat you on the shoulder when you finish 50 pushups, but I
    don’t want you inside my head. I don’t want you to see my dark heart. And yes,
    I went home and ate pie and didn’t taste it at all. So I guess I haven’t
    forgiven myself. Not for Annie and not for my mama.

    • mariannehvest

      Marla

      That was beautiful. Really beautiful because i know how hard it was to write. I had a very similar experience with my own mother long ago and then a cat, and another cat, and another one and I have yet to write about it. I know if I can get it down once I will not be as afraid of it or sad about it, but I just can’t do it yet. She really liked my writing and I want her to be a star of a story someday. You really write great stuff all the time but this one got me because you are such an honest writer. On a lighter note, I don’t think Jesus and yoga should be mixed unexpectedly especially if you have to pay for it, and writing things on papers and passing them up, sounds worse than Catholic confession. At least they get to do it privately. Can you get your money back? ; ))

      • Marla4

        Marianne,
        Thank you so much. And I agree about writing about your mother. It does help. I read one of your pieces that was set in the hospital and it was so powerful. You write beautifully. And no yoga and Jesus don’t mix well, at least not for me.

        • mariannehvest

          After I wrote my comment on your post, I realized I had written something about her but I couldn’t find it. It must have been here because I know I’ve written about my father’s death but he was at home when he died. I need to get organized. I probably need to do what PJ Reece says and print it all out as hard copy. I’d still probably have a cat throw up on it or something.

    • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

      This was beautiful and so well written. You made me think back on my own mom’s death years ago and then how I thought about that whole process when I had to put the first dog I owned as an adult down a few years ago. I’d had her for 14 years and she started to go down hill…not wanting to eat, hard time walking, etc. Two of her favorite things to do were eat and play frisbee…and she couldn’t do that anymore. I made the decision rather quickly to put her to sleep. There were ways to prolong her life but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want her to suffer. I didn’t want her to experience any unnecessary pain.

  • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

    Me too, Staci. Thank you.

  • Li

    My greatest fear is apparent immaturity in everything I write. Of course there is a fear of failure, which is real if you read great stuff. I find myself going back to Rilke’s advice and maintain that my efforts are selfish. I write because I need to but it’s hard for me to see any of my stories to an end. So many others tell me their struggle is in the meat of the process but for me it’s the opposite. I only want the meat. I want to entice my readers but I only have an ecstatic moment to share. My favorite movies lack plot. My favorite books are similar. I love anais nin, Pablo Neruda, MFK Fisher. I tend to enjoy short stories more than novels. I am afraid of pretensions vignettes. So much of what I write is in a vacuum, which is why I’m here. I need honest feedback to grow.

    • http://twitter.com/JewelsCat Giulia Esposito

      Every time I read Pabulo Neruda or Anais Nin, I’m blown away by the clarity and beauty of their words. But, I think they are daring because they were so honest. That’s scary to do. If you enjoy short stories, maybe just start there (keep in mind I also have difficulties finishing what I start, so my advice is not the soundest maybe), and see where you go. You might find yourself at the end of a story.

  • http://twitter.com/Girly_Geek Corine Hann

    Great post and very timely for me (tho that’s always the case!). Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      You bet, Corine. Thanks for reading. :)

  • http://brianbbaker.com/about/ Brian B Baker

    I’ve been trying to write one particular story for the last few years, but the fear of writing it makes me not want to. It’s a personal story, fictionalized, but my fear is more about what will my family say.

    I absolutely love the story, but the fear of putting something personal out there scares the bejeezus out of me.

    Great post Joe. Needed this to help me try and write this story, it will be my next project, that’s what I’ve been saying since I started my current one, and I’m almost done with that one, anyway great post.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Yep. I know that fear.

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    Yay!!! Woop woop! You go Joe! It will be great and so many people will benefit from the course!

    I’m doing an odd mixture of living and writing my story. Or maybe not so odd, isn’t that where good stories come from, the living?

    Anyhow. I prayed a year ago for an orphan, one orphan. Compelled by God’s great love for me, an orphan purchased by grace, I wanted to mirror that redemptive love in my own life. But the story took on steam and before long I was praying for a whole institution and then a whole country. What started with one, has grown well beyond that. It’s become a continual breathing in and out for the healing of a whole city, even a country.

    What I thought would be a discovery of institutional horrors in an Eastern European hole has really become a search for beauty and wonder. A place where the fragile of life collides with love and courage. This world will always be a place of not enough, but that in itself is really an opportunity to see victory step forward and conquer the want with compassion.

    What started as a journey towards one a year ago has become a concert of many. An invitation, a collaboration to collectively see and reach out. In July I’ve been invited. Invited! I didn’t even have to ask, it amazes me! I’ve been invited to join in a Worship Festival in Novi Sad to teach people about worship in action. Becoming love with hands and feet. I’ll lead groups to see the need in their own backyard. And at the end of the week host a party. A party of I see you, you matter, we care!

    How did it happen? Not because of fear, no, it was desperate hope, to see and go and know. My story is winging across the ocean to a Balkan world and back again. Serbia calls my name and I can’t say no! I can’t be afraid to write it because I can’t be afraid to live it.

    • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

      What a beautiful journey, Beck. a “desperate hope, to see and go and know.” I love that.

      • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

        Thanks Eileen, I’m so blessed to going and living in that hope!

    • http://thethoughtfulbuttonhook.wordpress.com/ Kate Hewson

      What a beautiful passionate piece of writing Beck! i look forward to hearing all about your journey.

      • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

        Thanks Kate! I look forward to seeing what unfolds on the journey and sharing it as well.

  • http://www.pjreece.ca/blog/wordpress/category/blog PJ Reece

    “We’ll never be ready, never have enough time…” so glad to be reminded of that, Joe. If we can joyfully accept that, the battle is won. It reminds me of the phrase that Nietzche made famous: “Amor fati” = the love of one’s fate. It seems that writers necessarily struggle with doubt and time and fear. Here’s a Nietzche quote on the subject: “I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth!” (Amen.)

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Hmm… I love that.. Reminds me of Paul’s admonition to be content in all things.

      • http://www.pjreece.ca/blog/wordpress/category/blog PJ Reece

        Can mere mortals hope to accomplish any more than that in a lifetime?

  • http://daphyin-makeupisart.blogspot.com Daphnee Kwong Waye

    You caught me here. These excuses, I use them at times. Of course I’m scared, especially that I’m 17… but as you said, I’ll always be scared. At any time, any age. So let’s write! A very inspiring post :) Thank you!

    http://evilnymphstuff.wordpress.com

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Awesome. Good luck Daphnee!

  • Shakthi

    I have been always afraid to start. At least now, let me come out the strong barriers and explore the world outside without fearing criticism.

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Do it, Shakthi.

  • Karen deBlieck

    Thank you for sharing this fabulous post. I have a story like this that has been sitting in my heart for awhile. This was so wonderful that I had to share it on my blog today.
    http://simplyscribblings.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-weather-cant-seem-to-make-up-its.html

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Thanks Karen!