Page Fright


Ever since I admitted to the WORLD that I was in the process of writing a book, I’ve had Page Fright.

That’s right, not Stage Fright, but Page Fright.

This is when you appear before that blank page and freeze up. There it is, that new Word document, staring you in the face, asking you to perform, to do something brilliant and entertaining and witty and utterly fabulous. And all you can do is stare back, dumbstruck and paralyzed.

It was going so well! Then, as soon as I wanted to post some of my writing on this blog for all the world to see, I started editing what I had to make it presentable. I mean, what I had was so rough, it needed editing.

But in that transition from free writing to "make presentable," I got Page Fright.

The analogy fits.

Page Fright, Stage Fright, it’s all the same thing, isn’t it?

Isn’t this where we get tripped up when we’re about to go on stage and give a presentation or sing a song? Our initial inspiration and joy for our subject, for getting to share what we love, gets squashed by the fear that whatever we present won’t be acceptable, "presentable," or even understandable by our audience.

This is the trick. How can I, we, stay connected to our original "Yes!" or initial joy and inspiration as we take what we know to the stage OR to the page?

Well, the first chapter for my book tells you how to do just that. Well, perhaps I should go back and read it so I can start using what I already know!

But until then, I want to share what I just read on Graham English’s blog about writing. It was so helpful to me in my time of Page Fright.

Johnny Mercer, the songwriter, said he used to write for the waste basket. When I first heard this, it blew my mind. After hearing a 3 minute song that seems so perfect, many people get the impression that it was written the way they heard it — in a short flash of inspiration. And even though we know better, we can be overly critical of work too soon in the process.

Graham goes on with some great pointers for powerful writing. Thanks, Graham!

3 replies
  1. kate sholl
    kate sholl says:

    Yep, yep, yep. And once over the page fright, there’s the “paralyzing sent it” experence, where you berate yourself for having wasted an editor’s time for just putting your stuff in a mail box.

    Like what Graham English had to say. Wish he had a magic wand….

  2. Tuck (The Rebel Belle)
    Tuck (The Rebel Belle) says:

    Nancy…I can’t stop laughing!! I couldn’t have found this on a better day…as I ponder sales copy. I know I have page fright!!Maybe we should start a dictionary of words we’ve made up…my Blessons & Affir-Questions and your page fright. What a great start….


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