The Writing Fear

I just hit 40,000 words on my WIP, which is a miracle because I’ve belatedly hit The Fear Paralysis. It usually hits around 20k, when I can’t write because I become convinced it’s all terrible.

Things I usually worry about during The Fear Paralysis:

1) By this point in the book, I should really know more about the characters than I do! Am I a fraud?

2) All the “plot twists” I’ve included are REALLY OBVIOUS & everyone is going to guess what happens immediately and get bored. Am I a fraud?

3) I’ve worked out what novels/films/tv shows most heavily inspired the story in my sub-conscious. It’s all been done before! Am I a fraud?

4) I don’t have enough plot to keep this going for a whole book/I have TOO MUCH plot to fit in one book/I have no plot. Am I a fraud?

5) I’ve reread it so many times that its not funny anymore. Everyone is going to find my “humour” lame and embarrassing. Am I a fraud?

I could carry on…. I guess the point is that I’ve done this five times now, and I think this stuff every single time. But in the end it always works out fine & I’m really proud of my drafts. So you’ve just gotta wrestle your self doubt into submission.

And no writer is ever a “fraud”. All you have to do to be classified as a writer is WRITE.

In other news:

Proofs of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe go out to bloggers tomorrow. I may or may not be freaking out about it. They’re going to be pretty fancy though, and look like this:


Cuuuute! There’s a giveaway of a signed copy running on my blog until the 9th, if you want to snag a copy.

I took the opportunity of the glorious wisteria to do a lil The Loneliest Girl in the Universe photoshoot.

You can follow the blog of Commander Romy Silvers from Loneliest on Wattpad:

Also, it was announced that I’m going to be at YALC again this year! I’ll be there on the Saturday and maybe a bit of the Friday too.


I’m experimenting with vlogging some book reviews, and recorded a test run on my instagram stories, uploaded to youtube here. I’m going to make it a regular thing on youtube (on a proper camera!) so subscribe over there if that’s your thing.

I love this picture of Katherine and Matthew by Deni at! It’s based on a drawing by @aliceoseman and I’m obsessed. Thank you Deni!


Some foreign rights news:

On June 13th, the US edition of The Next Together is finally released! It’s been a long road to get here (my original US publisher shut down before the book could be released – hence the long wait!) but it’s almost here now.

I don’t have any copies of the lovely hardback to show you yet, so for now, here is the dust jacket. I’m still not over that beautiful sunset.


Posledni Zacatek, the first translation of The Last Beginning to be published, is out now in Czech with Cooboo Redakce.


I’ve also seen glimpses of the Russian and German editions floating around instagram! I don’t have copies of these yet, but it’s lovely that my book is being published to the point where I’m struggling to keep track of all the editions. Here’s to many shelves full of copies, one day!


I think that’s all of today – talk soon! (When I’ve defeated this writing paralysis…)

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.

3 thoughts on “The Writing Fear

  1. My proof didn’t look like that! Sigh. Ah well, it had all the words in I assume. Loved it, Lauren, guessed a little of the twist but not everything which is the perfect book for me. Sequel? ::blinks hopefully and charmingly at you::


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