What Are You Afraid Of?

fear-cropped-proto-custom_28What scares you the most?  Are you willing to go there with your writing, or are you afraid?

Sometimes, fear and the desire to face it result in a great creative work.

Gustave Eiffel had a fear of heights. Could fear have inspired him to design a 984-foot-tall iron lattice tower?

Alfred Hitchcock had a fascination with birds, but he was deathly afraid of eggs.

images“I’m frightened of eggs,” he said, “worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes … have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? … egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I’ve never tasted it.”

According to Hitchcock, “The Birds” was the most terrifying film he had ever made. Birds come from eggs, after all, and perhaps that idea inspired him to have Daphne Du Maurier’s novelette made into a screenplay.

CrowBiz-Dracula-Bat-PrintBram Stoker, author of Dracula, had an intense fear of bats.

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And, remember Pennywise, the scary clown character in Stephen King’s novel, It?

King is afraid of —you guessed it—clowns.

[He talks about it here.]

Writing about what scares you might be a frightening idea, but it could lead to your best work.

Writing teacher and author, Natalie Goldberg, offers this advice:

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”

How about you? Has fear influenced your writing? Are you willing to be split open and let your fears spill out onto paper?

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