Other than writer’s block, fear is the biggest obstacle stopping writers from putting pen to paper, or their fingers to the keyboard.
Knowing fear is at the heart of what is stopping you from writing is a necessary step to moving forward and producing words needed to finish a piece of work. Three common ways fear stops us are:
ONE: I’m not afraid
When it’s too frightening to admit the worst possibility, we lean on a more obvious reason like I don’t have the time.
TWO: I don’t want to know
We cling to the fear so we don’t have to uncover whether it’s real or not. I’m afraid so the choice is not a good option for me.
THREE: I don’t need to know
This type fear keeps us in our comfort zone, leaving no time to peek under the bed for monsters. If I don’t try, I won’t fail.
These fears are all excuses. Excuses used to stop you from writing and reaching your writing goals. Finding excuses is a great way to avoid getting our butts in the chair and writing. Whether it’s I’m too busy or I don’t have time, the reasons will be endless if you let fear rule.
Overcoming fear isn’t easy. It requires guts, action, and taking risks that’ll make your head, heart, and stomach hurt beyond belief. And the worse part? You’ll have to tackle fear more times than you can count. Every time you overcome a new fear, another one will rear its ugly head. Worse yet? The same fear will attack you even when you think you’ve tackled it.
So what’s your choice? Give up and go home? Hell no!
Grab that fear, and ride it until it’s gone. Okay, maybe not, but you can develop a process for overcoming fear whenever it hits you. Some options are:
EAT THAT FROG
A phrase coined by Brian Tracey. It simply means to tackle the task or project that scares you the most-first. Do it quick and first thing in the morning! Don’t think, just act! The exhilaration of accomplishment you feel will outweigh your initial fear.
You are what you surround yourself with. If you want to tackle fear, thinking negative thoughts isn’t going to cut it. Find someone or something to encourage you. I follow people on social media who post positive phrases daily, and I subscribe to Darren Daily, which arrives in my mailbox every morning.
FIND/CONNECT WITH EXPECTS
If you feel inept because you lack certain writing skill, don’t let that stop you. There are tons of writing expects ready to teach you all you need or want to know. Not to mention blog posts, books, magazines, Facebook groups, and podcasts. The possibilities are endless for finding and connecting with writing expects.
My favorite one! Think of it as having a gym partner, but for writing. Accountability is one of the reasons I created the CayWriters group-both the monthly meetings and the online FB Group. It’s an opportunity to connect with other writers, find writers who write similar genres, participate in writing sprints, and share your work for feedback.
Another benefit of an accountability partner or group is finding kindred writing spirits. It’s one of the most rewarding experiences, and can change your personal and writing life.
Like a gym partner, a writing accountability partner should be someone who’s motivated to write and not just talk about it. You want someone who will push you and move you outside your comfort zone.
OVERCOME YOUR FEARS
Along with facing your fears, I recommend identifying one action you can take to push through the fear when it tries to keep you from writing. Read more about overcoming fears.
Facing your fear won’t happen overnight, nor will that fear disappear. But, if you want to write without fear crippling you, take the necessary action needed to tackle fear each time it surfaces.
What action do you take to overcome fear so you can write?