writing tips

Writing Prompt: Uncertainty is Worse

Have you ever claimed or thought you would never do something, and then completely changed your tune?Which Way Do I Go?

I thought I would never share my personal writing pieces. 

But today I’m going to share a piece. It seems almost counter-intuitive to withhold any creative writing pieces from my audience but I was always really hesitant. I really just enjoy sharing writing advice and thoughts on my blog. Normally, I keep my writing pieces private because I have a strong sense of ownership over them. Mixed in there I think, was a fear of all of those eyes seeing my personal work.

This fear is something I think that a lot of writers face. I’ve heard friends vocally doubt their writing ability– they forget that they have a unique voice unlike any other person’s. At the end of the day, it was really fear that was holding me back from an opportunity, just as it holds others back.

My fears were unfounded. I readily share my writing on fanfiction.net and I’ve always let my family read my writing as a child.  I also see the amazing writing pieces that my fellow bloggers have published and shared on their blogs.  So what was stopping me from doing the same?

Uncertainty was holding me in limbo; somewhere between fear and the need to share my writing.

Many bloggers encourage fellow readers to share an excerpt of their writing in the comments section, based on a writing prompt. I think writing prompts are one of the most effective tools to use as a starting point for your writing.

And this was exactly the solution to my doubt and fear. bekindrewrite has been a favourite blog of mine for a while now. Stephanie Orges, the blog’s owner, posts five writing prompts every Monday. This is a weekly writing challenge called Inspiration Monday (InMon), in which you can use her prompts and share your writing.

The writing prompt “uncertainty is worse” seemed to catch my attention this week, and so I followed suit, drafting my flash fiction piece from this wonderfully helpful prompt.

Often, I find myself thinking, “I don’t know what to write about” or “I don’t know where to start.” This is a little bewildering because I have a wide selection of ideas floating around in my head that really excite me and make me want to start penning a novel. However, there’s always some point where I doubt myself or I become stuck.

This is where writing prompts have been a Godsend. They give you a specific focus when you’re thinking in a general, fuzzy sense about ideas and concepts. Once I started using the writing prompt, the ideas flowed. The prompt became a focal point and a phrase that carried deeper meaning in my story.

Here’s my flash fiction piece for this week, appropriately titled “Uncertainty is Worse.”

Uncertainty is Worse

Colmar, France.

The idyllic photos and travel description stare back at me from the computer screen.

I am sitting at my computer desk, on a cloudy but sunny day. The kind of day where the sun plays a game of endless hide-and-seek.

It’s the weekend; the time of grocery-shopping and catching up on often-missed laundry. I should be getting things checked off my to-do list but instead I’m on the computer, caught in a world of fantasy and dreams, indecision and yearning.

The half-timbered houses, reflective canals and flower-covered bridges beckon to me.

I read more of the travel description. “Colmar has a sunny, dry environment; a result of being in close proximity to mountains. This is a perfect atmosphere for wine-making. In fact, the region is known for Alsace wine.”

Alsace wine. It sounds delicious.

I remember a time when a friend had brought back Rosé from Paris. I recall the taste distinctly: light, floral, sweet…

I imagine Alsace wine to be sweet and white in colour.

With a voracious curiosity, I read more about the cuisine: “Colmar has a blend of French and German foods; a bakery will offer both flaky, warm croissants and tasty kugelhopf.”

Kugelhopf. The word is foreign and mysterious. I’m not sure what kugelhopf is but I’m sure I’d like it. I like everything food-related.

I scroll down to the “Costs” section and my heart falls.

Do I really have the money for this kind of trip? Or the time?

I could be spending money on more important necessities like a mortgage, a car, a house…

But then isn’t travel a necessity? An education of the mind and heart?

My trip out west to British Columbia was sure an eye-opener. Snow-crested mountains and salty ocean air…Out east in the States I remember the quaint, fall-coloured landscape of Vermont in the late autumn sun…

“Why don’t you take a trip? Live a little for once?” my brother had said to me one evening at a family get-together.

Inwardly, I sighed. We had this conversation countless times and I had given him my reasons.

“Because,” I began. “I don’t have the time or money. It’s not a priority on my list right now.”

“Well, it should be.” he retorted.

I sighed. That was easy for him to say. He had a traveling partner and the courage to take a step out into the unknown.

Uncertainty is worse than fear, at least in my book… You can conquer fear. Indecision holds you to one place, one spot.

I push myself away from the computer, out of my reverie. It’s nice to dream, but for now I have to live in reality.

Have you struggled with fear of sharing your writing or even starting your writing? If so, how did you overcome it? Feel free to share in the comment section below.

3 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Uncertainty is Worse”

  1. It’s so fantastic to read something from a long-time reader! And this is something I can totally relate to. Wanting to travel, but not really having anyone to travel WITH, besides having more “important” things to spend money on. But what’s REALLY more important?

    This is a great slice of life, good flow, with a clear, realistic and relatable voice.

    The fear of sharing your work? I think it does get easier – but it depends on the project. I’m constantly sending out my copywriting work to be read, and that hardly phases me anymore. But the fiction stuff, the stuff that’s really close to my heart and more a reflection of ME than of the client – it’s still very scary exposing that. But it’s also the best way to find out if you just think you’re good, or you really are good – and to learn how to get better.

    Nicely done, all around. I hope to read more of your stuff!

    1. Thanks! That’s true; it does depend on the project and on practice. Like you said, I also find that with more professional and technical pieces of writing I feel more detached from it than I do with personal, creative writing. It’s always so scary at first to share personal pieces but find it’s worthwhile because generally people are nice but honest. Thanks very much for your comment. Your prompts are really great and fun to use! I really enjoyed this exercise.

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