Today, I’d like to welcome Kait Nolan, paranormal romance author, to The Variety Pages. Her debut novella, Forsaken by Shadow was recently released – read on for your chance to win a copy! She’s chatting with us about “Page Fright”…pull up a comfy chair and enjoy.
Did you know that more people are afraid of public speaking than dying? Speaking as someone who has a definite public speaking phobia, this makes perfect sense to me. People who know me are always shocked to find this out about me because I’m a very social creature, and I will talk to anyone. It’s large crowds. And podiums. And the fact that the audience is usually sitting and I have to stand and my knees are really just not cool with that idea. Oh, and the fact that I sound like a mutated cross between an auctioneer and the Micro Machine guy. On speed. There is a reason I teach online instead of in person.
But fear of public speaking isn’t my only phobia. Well, there’s the fear of giant, Aragog-size spiders, but that’s not what I want to talk about either. No, what I actually want to talk about is a little discussed, but subversive little fear that infects writers specifically.
I’m talking about page fright.
Not to be confused with stage fright, which is a close cousin to the public speaking phobia (glossophobia, in case you were wondering), page fright is fear of the blank page. Some people call it writer’s block, but for me writer’s block is something entirely different—a sign that I have taken a wrong turn with my WIP. Page fright is this debilitating anxiety that strikes me when I have taken more than two or three days off from a WIP. It’s one of the reasons I strive to write something fiction every day. Because if I don’t…Yeesh, it gets bad. It’s like I forget how to write.
When I finished my recent release, Forsaken By Shadow, I didn’t immediately jump into another project. Instead I focused on revisions and formatting and other stuff. And then my husband broke his leg. And suddenly I turned around and it had been almost THREE WHOLE MONTHS since I’d really written anything new. Boy howdy, let me tell you I had the mother of all cases of page fright.
Even with an outline of the next project (FBS’s sequel, Revelation) sitting in front of me, I opened the WIP every day and just stared at it. I started setting miniscule goals like 100 words a day. And even THOSE pitiful goals I had trouble meeting. I did so much writing and erasing and replotting. This current project went through FOUR different beginnings before the characters finally started talking. The great irony, my page fright had been so horrible, that I only actually lost about 3.5k words.
So how do you overcome page fright? Well, the best option is not to get it in the first place. To keep a project on the front burner, no matter what, so that you don’t let whatever your particular time frame is lapse without writing. But life does have a tendency of interrupting, so then what?
I have to say that I am of the BICHOK school of thought. Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. You have to show up. You have to open that WIP. And you have to write something. Even if it’s about how far you’ve descended into suckitude because you lapsed. Words on the page. You must get back into the groove. Your brain my shudder and shake and reject whatever you write. But there’s no cure but facing your fear in classic immersion therapy style.
Other options are to read something awesome that inspires you. Interview your characters. Write a scene you need to write from a different point of view. Do something out of the norm to get going.
Above all, don’t stop writing!
Cade Shepherd is on top of the world as this year’s Ultimate Fighting Champion. He doesn’t even remember his life as Gage Dempsey, a Shadow Walker with the ability to magically transport himself from shadow to shadow. In fact, he can’t remember anything before waking up in a cheap motel room ten years ago with mysterious burns on his hands–not even the woman he almost died for.
Embry Hollister has picked up the pieces of her life, learned to control her ability to generate flame, and now works an enforcer for the Council of Races. But when her father is captured by the human military and the Council refuses mount a rescue mission, Embry has no choice but to go rogue. All she has to is find the man with the new name and new life who was completely wronged by her people, give him back the memories they stole, convince him to join her on what’s probably a suicide mission, and hope that after ten years of living as a regular guy he still remembers what her father taught him.
And after that, she just has to leave him. Again.
Thanks so much for joining us today Kait, and best of luck with your novella!
Kait has generously offered to give away a copy of Forsaken By Shadow to one lucky commenter today. Leave a comment by midnight tonight (MDT) to be entered. The winner will be chosen by random drawing and contacted via email. Good luck!
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