This guest post is by our newest regular contributor, Marcy McKay. Marcy, who has joined us several times before, is the “Energizer Bunny of Writers.” She believes writing is delicious and messy and hard and important. If you’ve ever struggled with your writing, you can download her new and totally FREE book, Writing Naked: One Writer Dares to Bare All. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Welcome to The Write Practice, Marcy!

The process of writing my four novels was different each time, but they all followed a similar emotional pattern. I’ve discovered that this emotional path is essential for writing success.

writing success

The Emotional Path Your Most Successful Writing Follows

In the beginning, an idea struck me. And I don’t mean a ho-hum, random thought. A plot or character zapped my brain like a lightning bolt of awesomeness. Excitement coursed through my veins.

I thought, Yes, I must write this.

Soon after, that same idea made me feel seasick. My entire body became awash in nausea. I felt incapable of writing that book, or talented enough to plot the next chapter, and was unsure if I should bother to send my final manuscript to a literary agent at all. Queasiness coursed through my veins.

I thought, No, I cannot do this.

For a full four-hundred pages, I flip-flopped back and forth between the two extremes. It’s not just with my novels, either. It can be blog posts, or setting up my Facebook fan page – anything that takes me one step closer to my dream.

I’ve since termed this phenomenon as T2.

It’s a must for writing success. What I’m talking about is feeling both…

 THRILLED and TERRIFIED about your writing.

Staring at a fresh, blank page, a continual tug-of-war wages inside me, with super highs and horrifying lows.

Do you experience this?

If not, you should.

Why T2 Matters

Your craft craves both elements of feeling thrilled and terrified. You need it to write, launch your author website, or create business cards for an upcoming conference.

Otherwise, you’re just playing it safe.

Selling yourself short will show on the page, too. Your words will ring hollow, and won’t excite your readers. It will be a waste of your time to write, and a waste of their time to read (which is much worse, by the way).

Complacency and mediocrity do more harm than good.  

If you’re writing for fame or fortune alone, hang up your pen now. There are so many other ways to fatten your wallet and ego faster than spending countless hours alone banging away on the keyboard about imaginary characters in faraway places.

Some call that schizophrenia.

Writers call it another day at the office.

#1 Reason for Writing

You can’t not write. Sorry for the bad grammar.

Words feed your soul and give you life, just like the oxygen you breathe. It’s the only reason to take the time, effort and energy needed to excel at this craft.

You should feel both thrilled you’re on a literary adventure, but also terrified you’re not good enough to pull it off.

That’s T2.

It’s how you know you’re onto something special, and that you must absolutely, positively write fill-in-the-blank. The words will crackle with electricity, and you’ll feel energy in your prose.

Reach for the stars. Write what you’re not sure you’re talented enough to accomplish. Go for T2, even though it’s scary as hell.

You and your audience will appreciate it; both deserve the very best.

What thrills and terrifies you about your current writing project (or one you’d like to write)?  Share your list in the comments section!

PRACTICE

Spend fifteen minutes free writing, trying to write something that both thrills and terrifies you. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section. And if you share, please be sure to give feedback to your fellow writers about their thrilling, terrifying writing.

Marcy McKay
Marcy McKay

Marcy McKay is the “Energizer Bunny of Writers.” She believes writing is delicious and messy and hard and important. If you’ve ever struggled with your writing, you can download her totally FREE book, Writing Naked: One Writer Dares to Bare All. Find her on Facebook!