A Prompt From: Emily Henry

 

I spent years mistaking a fear of failure for writer’s block. I’d get twenty-thousand words or so into a draft, and have no idea what came next. It got to the point where I’d wake up with a knot of dread already in my belly, and that wouldn’t let up until I’d sunk into writing for a few hours. Here is what I realized: there will always be a gap between what’s in your mind and how it looks on the page. But if you let your fear of failure keep you from writing, you’ve already guaranteed. That’s what happens when you buy into the idea of perfection. You self reject.

Now when I feel stumped, I still write. I call it “hiking around,” because often, I literally have characters walking around, doing nothing particularly interesting until something happens to turn their story in a new direction. The hiking gets cut, but giving myself that time and space gets me out of my head and distracts me from the specter of perfection.

- Emily Henry

 

I spent years mistaking a fear of failure for writer’s block. I’d get twenty-thousand words or so into a draft, and have no idea what came next. It got to the point where I’d wake up with a knot of dread already in my belly, and that wouldn’t let up until I’d sunk into writing for a few hours. Here is what I realized: there will always be a gap between what’s in your mind and how it looks on the page. But if you let your fear of failure keep you from writing, you’ve already guaranteed. That’s what happens when you buy into the idea of perfection. You self reject.

Now when I feel stumped, I still write. I call it “hiking around,” because often, I literally have characters walking around, doing nothing particularly interesting until something happens to turn their story in a new direction. The hiking gets cut, but giving myself that time and space gets me out of my head and distracts me from the specter of perfection.

 

About the Author

Emily Henry studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. Emily's debut adult novel, Beach Read, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.