“[These] are just a few of the phantoms scary enough to make the writer wonder if there might be a job available washing skyscraper windows.”
“When we think about how many terrifying things people are called on to do every day as they fight fires, defend their rights, perform brain surgery, give birth, drive on the freeway, and wash skyscraper windows, it seems frivolous, self-indulgent, and self-important to talk about writing as an act that requires courage.
What could be safer than sitting at your desk, lightly tapping a few keys, pushing your chair back, and pausing to see what … tidbit of art your brain has brought forth to amuse you?
And yet most people who have tried to write have experienced not only the need for bravery but a failure of a nerve as the real or imagined consequences, faults and humiliations, exposures and inadequacies dance before their eyes and across the empty screen or page.
The fear of writing badly, of revealing something you would rather keep hidden, of losing the good opinion of the world, of violating your own high standards, or of discovering something about yourself that you would just as soon not know—those are just a few of the phantoms scary enough to make the writer wonder if there might be a job available washing skyscraper windows.”
~ Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer