Writing fear comes in so many different flavors. Each fear can paralyze a writer and freeze their word counts. Many of these fears are why writers tend to think about writing a lot, instead of writing. With each fear, there are ways to combat them. This article will focus on these different concerns and what they mean to a writer.
The first fear to be is often the largest elephant in the room. Analysis paralysis causes writers to over think their craft. Many times a blank page can be just as scary as looking off a cliff into the ocean. The blank page goes on forever and can be anything. As a writer, we know that different types of writing need different things for us. So depending on what we write, we put different requirements on ourselves. Instead of jumping off a cliff to see where we land, we sit there studying the ocean. Is there a rock under the water? What happens if there isn’t enough water cushion? Perhaps climbing down slowly is the way to go? All the time these options are contemplated, word count remains stagnant. The great thing about writing is that a writer can jump into as many projects as they want. There is no rule to be a writer beyond writing. Fill this need and then just see what happens. A person never knows until they have tried.
Another common concern in writers is quality paralysis. These writers fear that the low quality will hurt their reputation; hence they don’t write anything. For many writers, they don’t have anything to hurt. Instead, these writers are banking on being famous and the potential that previous work may haunt them. This fear is ridiculous because many long standing authors have poor work in the past. The only way to produce fantastic work is to practice over and over again. Each new word count brings a little bit better prose and understanding. Another great way to create better quality writing is to have the writing under heavy criticism. Knowing exactly what is wrong and being able to fix this is an excellent way to grow as a writer.
A horrible fear to have when writing is social fear. Sometimes writers fear to write because their family and friends will read it. They are worried that those closest to them will dislike them more after reading the material. Furthermore, they are concerned that publishing on social networks will cause problems. Perhaps the social networks will hate their work and show that in public comments. Again, the best way to help combat this fear is to realize that often readers want writers to succeed. These social comments are gold nuggets waiting to be mined. Each negative feedback allows a writer to find a way to be a little bit better at their craft.
The final fear to discuss is fiscal paralysis. In this fear, a writer may not write because they are not sure they will cover their bills. Writing is a risky, high competitive venture – while bills must be every month. This juxtaposition makes many writers nervous to try new things or to even try at all. The great thing about modern writing is that the barriers to entry are so low. A person can start a blog and advertise this blog for free. A person can find lower paying writing gigs everywhere. There are so many opportunities to make money with writing. The trick with these financial opportunities is to understand your fiscal picture. By knowing how much you need, and when, a writing program can be into place. This writing program will help decide what needs to be written and by when. Each plan can then be put into place to make for a higher word count.
Ways to combat writing fear
Why a person writes
The first step in combating many types of writing fear is to know why you write. If a person writes for an egotistical reason, that is fine, but they should acknowledge that. If a person writes to make a difference, they need to identify the specific difference they want to achieve. If a person writes to make money or to tell a story, they need to recognize those reasons as well. Furthermore, writers should not answer “all the above” when deciding why they write. Knowing the most important reason will help decide the particular direction that needs to be written.
Leverage that reason why
Once the specific purpose is decided, then plans can start to be formed. Not all types of writing need higher quality. Not all types of writing need massive amounts. The key here is to begin to understand the audience. If writing for an egotistical reason, then forming a tight knit community may be the best route to take. If writing to affect a particular change, then knowing those you want to influence is key. If writing for monetary reasons, then setting an hourly wage is important. Finally, if writing to tell a story, then identifying the unique niche or key point in your story is crucial. With each of these areas, knowing how to get the most gain per word is key. If a person knows why they write, and how to leverage that writing, they become a more successful writer. The more success a person has, the less fear they have to deal with.
Build a community
Knowing why your writing is about building a writer’s platform. By building this platform, a writer can connect with their audience in a more meaningful way. Writing is not the end reason, but rather a tool. An author uses writing to connect with their audience. A writer does not use writing just because the screen is blank.
Celebrate small wins
Finally, writers should celebrate small wins. Celebrating only large wins is a horrible way to live. Writing is a marathon of repetition, not a sprint to the end goal. By knowing this, a writer can celebrate each mile marker. Each new Facebook fan, recurring revenue, and user comment is an exciting moment. These moments show how you are connecting with your audience, which is what writing is all about.