My Fear of Writing

My Fear of Writing

A Story by Erika Jones

This is an essay I did for a literary narrative last semester for my English course. I hope everyone likes it. I'll post another one up in either a few days or longer.


I can recall sitting in front of my laptop early this past April, starting one of my first few original works I’ve had the guts to start for something called Camp National Novel Writing Month (Camp NaNoWriMo) and typing like a mad woman to reach my goal. It’s a story I’ve not only become proud of by the time it was finished in early July, thinking “what an amazing idea!”, but also something I’ve become to fear of immensely.

My story, Shattered, is written through the eyes of a seventeen year old young man who’s mute due to the effects of long-term child abuse by the hands of his mother, whom was arrested two years prior to the beginning of the story. Throughout Shattered, his mother is released from jail early for “good behavior” a month and a few weeks before his eighteenth birthday and was allowed to live in the same house as him as long as she followed strict guidelines and is to never be left alone with him under any circumstances.

While he constantly put himself through the struggles of trying to communicate with people at school who don’t believe his mother abused him and thinks she was wrongly accused. Claiming that his silence is because he knows the truth and refuses to speak due to someone calling him out on his supposed lies he’s spread. Though one person does believe him and it’s the same person he tries to push away, knowing full well what his mother’s like when he’s had friends in the past, and truly believes his mother is the one at fault.

Not only that, he has to live under constant scrutiny and degrading and hateful eyes of his mother, all because he exists in her life.

While I wrote this book, I became attached to my character, Koda, almost to the point I thought I was living his life. I had become the quiet person from the story to where I’d go hours ignoring everyone vocally and refused to speak to them. And times where I didn’t want to be left alone in the same room with someone or I’d stay in my room without doing anything for long periods of time.

There were a few nights where I’ve woken up from nightmares where I was Koda from the story, breathing heavy like I had been running from someone and drenched in a cold sweat, unable to go back to sleep for hours.

Shattered had started taking over my life until I decided a break was needed and I put it aside from the end of May to the last week of June. During this time, I felt like I was able to breathe, sleep and interact with people as best as I could while I was in school.

But when I picked Shattered up again to finish it, it all returned. The fear. The anxiety. The restless nights. It all came back but not as bad as it was before.

I was almost finished. Had two or three chapters left and it’d be done. But it was also when I had to think about the horrible pain that Koda went through, the pain his mother inflicted to make two years of his life nothing but silence and fear driven.

I went to bed crying just thinking about it only to wake up and cry some more the next morning.

I truly felt like a horrible person for writing something as horrifying as this story. Like this was a part of me that exists deep inside of myself and got me thinking, “maybe I’m like his mother, only people like her would ever think of something as horrifying as this. I must be a monster.”

It took quite a bit of talking and convincing from friends like Christine, Lisa and Sora, all three of them constantly telling me that my story is fine, that what I’m feeling is normal for anybody who writes. I remember them saying “it’s alright” over and over again.

It’s something I still need to hear from them.     

There are still moments when I believe I’m a monster because the story exists and days where I regret writing it at all, but it’s something I’m still going to be proud of, because I wrote it, finished it and didn’t give up on it like I’ve done so many other things in my life.

It’s something I can use to prove that I’m not a failure at the things I love to do, because I still love to write, even when they make my emotions a rollercoaster that scares the living daylights out of me. 

© 2016 Erika Jones

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If you're feeling emotional angst about what you're writing, you are probably doing something right. There is an old saying, “write what you know.” I think it should be, “write what you feel.” Fiction is all about emotion. You are trying to evoke an emotional response in the reader: fear, love, anger, etc. If you feel these things when you are writing, there is a good chance the reader will also. I suppose that's why many writers end up alcoholics and drug addicts. It is a tough business.

People with empathy can't write fiction. They become technical writers. Check out M.L. Franchello and Takeshi Yamada on this site. They are very good with emotion.

Keep writing. You're good.

Posted 5 Years Ago

I love that you wrote this, because I feel like I can relate to you and your story more than I can with others sometimes. Sometimes the mind does crazy things to us and makes us think things that aren't true, like that we're monsters. I read a quote somewhere one time that said, "Don't believe everything you think, because the mind is so often a liar." You're a gifted writer, as usually the occassionally troubled are, which is why I feel that me, along with most on wc, could relate, so thank you for writing this down.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Erika Jones

5 Years Ago

I'm crying, in a good way. Thank you for your kind words! I try not to believe everything my mind te.. read more

5 Years Ago

It is hard, but talking about it helps, and I find that if you find people with similar problems and.. read more

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Added on February 1, 2016
Last Updated on February 1, 2016


Erika Jones
Erika Jones

Medway, OH

I'm Erika and I'm a 25 year old Author. I've self-published a small poem book called "Screams of the Outcast" a couple years ago and slowly selling. Not only do I like poetry, I love writing novels an.. more..