Sometimes I hear this from new writers or those who are thinking about writing. It's kind of a frustrating situation, because it begs a compliment like, "Oh, it won't suck. You don't have to be afraid. Your story will be great." Well, I'm here to burst your bubble (Hey, I'm entering edits and not in the best of moods. Time for a New Year's reality check):
Your story probably will suck.
Wait, don't go running to your trailer in a fit of diva-like tears! I am not being mean—I'm being honest. But rest assured, 99.9% of writers are in the same boat as you are. Even the published ones. And the truth is, worrying about your story being crap never goes away, either.
Sucking is the very nature of first drafts. If you're afraid to suck, you're kind of saying you're afraid to write. And if you're afraid to write...well, that's kind of an issue if you want to be a writer. Like a pilot being afraid to fly. Or a pottery maker who's afraid to get their hands dirty. Part of the writing gig is writing some really bad stuff—sometimes for a really long time. And even when you think you have it figured out, you get slammed in the face by your crap writing when you least expect it.
If fear is stopping you from getting that story down, it's time to shrug it off and jump in. What are you afraid of? If everyone writes bad first drafts, what makes you think you need to write perfect ones?
I always think of drawing when I think of this process. Hey, I'm an artist, so sue me. Starting a book is like staring at a blank canvas—almost exactly like it, really. You're supposed to create a picture, except a novel is more like painting a mural spanning an entire city block. Talk about overwhelming.
But here's the thing many writers don't realize: You are NOT painting on that wall when you write those first words down. Nope. You are sketching on grid paper, trying to figure out how the mural is supposed to look. You try things that don't work, so you erase them. You figure out what you want to say, but maybe you haven't quite nailed the presentation of that statement. You never have to show a soul what's in your sketchbook unless you want to, maybe to get opinions on composition and color scheme. You don't paint the mural until you have all the elements worked out.
Guys, there is nothing to be afraid when it comes to writing your story. Yes, it may turn out sucky, but here's another cool thing I've learned—ideas don't suck. It's impossible for an idea to suck. You never have to doubt your idea, though sometimes it doesn't come out on paper quite as you planned. Believe me, I've written a lot of awful books. But when I think back to the actual ideas? They're still good! I could spruce any of them up and make a better book.
So, if you're one of those people who are afraid to mar that blank document with some crappy words, get over it and get writing.