The Dead Robots' Society

Writers on Writing


  1. Hi, I’m trying to get into the habit of writing, but can’t seem to get over the fear of writing my first book. Do you guys have any advice?

  2. I could say something flippant like quote Dune (“Fear is the mind killer”), but instead I’ll say this. The only fear you need is of not finishing it. Period. It doesn’t matter if it’s terrible, it doesn’t matter if it’ll never see the light of day. What matters is that you enjoyed writing it, that it’s proof you can actually write a novel, and, more importantly, you’ll learn from it.

    I have three novels (maybe four now) that are sitting in the proverbial digital trash heap, never to be published. Their mummified corpses remain only to remind me where I came from and where I am now. Each novel I write is better in one way or another, regardless of its sales or popularly. I’m getting better at the craft every time I write a sentence, a chapter, a book. When I read, I come across tricks of the trade I can use in my own work. Or find annoyances I try and cull from my own writing.

    Regardless, I truly believe writers only improve through writing, editing, and paying attention. You shouldn’t fear writing the book. What’s written can always be rewritten, edited, or thrown away. Like any good piece of Origami, words are disposable, as are stories, plots, and characters. Writing is practice. Writing is form. Writing is fun. But most of all, it’s a series of journeys. Each tale begins with a single word, and each tale ends with one. So don your crash helmet against self-loathing, wrap a critique-proof vest around your chest, and get to it.


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