Stagefright is a thief.
For a performer, wanting for go onstage is the ultimate end to all the work. Actors spend time perfecting their ability to project their emotion and learning their lines only to be hobbled at the curtain’s edge by fear. Musicians learn to play their instruments and write songs only to freeze in the spotlight. Public speaking is a very common fear, but stagefright is its bigger, more aggravating brother. To not want to talk in front of an audience, or even to be terrified to, is frustrating and aggravating, but when the point of everything you’ve worked for is to show it and you’re afraid to do that then you have lost your reason d’être.
So what stagefright can a writer have?
Having the whole story in your head and not being able to put down a word.
Isn’t that writer’s block?
No. Writer’s block is not knowing where to go next with the story or not knowing what to write. What I’m suffering right now is having the stories in my head, all mapped out and ready to go, but not being able to put the words down. I’ve got two Weaver’s Circle stories, two Send Down stories, a Touchstone novel and a novella, the last Arden FD book, and a few others in my head, waiting to come out and what am I doing? Watching Supernatural. Thinking about what I need to get to work because if I had the magic bullet, it would all work. And reading my old stuff thinking, wow, this is pretty good. I should write more.