We can’t eradicate our writing fears. Nor would we want to. They’re what makes writing so challenging and satisfying.Ralph Keyes, in The Courage to Write
Fear is everywhere. It’s our worst enemy because we are the ones behind it. We feel it. We create it. We make it an obstacle to our achievements.
That fear comes from many sources, like the feeling you’re an impostor, that our writing is not good, or too cliché, nothing original, that grammar mistakes and words we choose will be criticized, and this is gonna ruin our writing careers.
It can also come from the anticipation of other fears like readers not liking what we write, or publishers refusing our works, or that they will enjoy and accept our stories, but then we’re gonna have to attend live readings and interviews and book releases, and we’re too shy for that.
We can even have a deeper problem. We can think that our readers will analyze and interpret us through our words and find our deepest hidden secrets, if there are any. The story will reveal us to the public, our writing will open our minds to our readers, it will expose our personalities and souls, and we don’t want to be nude in front of an audience.
So we fear. And with fear, sometimes we don’t write. Or don’t send our writings to be published. We don’t use our superpowers. We don’t hone our crafts. We fear.
That fear or anxiety, as far as I could learn, is felt by writers of every kind and level. Because we always seek to do our best, we fear failing. And yes, it is a scary thing. I won’t lie. Sometimes I question myself. These posts, my Instagram captions, the novel I’m writing, the short stories that I’ve never shown to anyone.
But if there’s a story you want to tell. Something you want to share. Words you need to put out. Either because you need them to be in a place where someone can see it or because they’re burning inside you, and you need to stop them. You should overcome that fear.
How do you do it?
Remember why you write. And how you feel about writing when you don’t count your fears.
That power your words can give you. The power to convince, educate, entertain, inspire, tell a story, take your reader to a trip, any kind of trip. The power to convey a message.
That grin you make when you find the words you were looking for and provoke feelings with them. The picture of a reader who loves what you write no matter what or a reader who’s laughing or crying or feeling with your words.
The satisfaction when you finish writing the book, or a chapter, or a scene. That peaceful certainty that you feel when you sit in front of a screen and type fearless while nodding your head and repeating the words you type, agreeing with yourself, and loving what you write. Then the feeling of that warm cup of coffee or tea that you use as a reward for your milestones and achievements because you just love writing.
That’s how you overcome fear. These feelings, if you have them, one or all of them, they’re bigger than anything. They’re giants who can step on our little fears and smash them right away, and they make them look like splashed stains on the floor and nothing more.
Now, between the lines…
Tell me one thing you fear the most about writing, then tell me your best feeling about being a writer.
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