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Overcoming Writing Fear

Let’s talk about fear. Fear of writing, fear of putting your work out there, and how you can overcome it. Writers face fear regularly. Self-doubt creeps in, along with fear of failure. Not to mention the vulnerability we feel when sharing our words with the world.

The problem with fear is it holds us back from pursuing our dreams. If you let fear take hold, you may never realise those dreams. You will never get that story written or published because you were too afraid.

So, stop letting fear take control and get writing. Many people want to write a book, but they’re held back. Not knowing where to begin, how to structure the story, and the steps to getting published have stopped many hopeful writers from turning their dreams into reality.

Here’s what you can do to overcome fear.

Stop Procrastinating

Cleaning the bathroom can wait. You can throw the ball for the dog later. Set time aside to write, even if it’s only an hour. It will amaze you what you can achieve if you use that window of time to focus. The more time you put off sitting down to write, the more that fear will control you.

Stop Revising Your Work

We all want our work to be perfect. I have some bad news for you. It will never be perfect. Even traditionally published books that have been through multiple edits have missed typos or mistakes.

Set a limit of how many drafts you will complete before you send your work off to editors and beta readers. At some point, you must put it out there for critique. Constantly striving for perfection can stunt your creativity. Set a cut off and then, put it out there.

Do Something That Scares You

What’s the worst that can happen? You end up with some constructive criticism and a chance to improve your work. Giving into fear is our natural way of protecting ourselves from hurt or potential harm. Just because something scares you doesn’t mean it will hurt you.

Aspiring writers might feel intimidated because they feel they are not good enough. The reality is, you can never become a brilliant writer unless you practice, and to practice, you must write.

Accept Criticism

Don’t be afraid of receiving feedback from others. Not all readers will like your writing, and that’s a fact. Always reflect on any criticism and the suggestions made.

The more books you publish, the better your writing will get. I bet the first time you attempted to bake the perfect scone; it was far from perfect. You didn’t have Gordon Ramsey banging on your door begging you for the recipe.

If at first you don’t succeed, look for ways to improve, and try again.

Set Small Achievable Goals

Writing a book is a bit like running a marathon. Slow and steady wins the race. Yes, it’s exhausting, but when you make it over the finish line, it’s the best feeling in the world. So, set small goals and take it one step at a time.

These small goals might include things such as a daily word count, a quick chapter outline, or chat with a fellow writer to bounce ideas around. Don’t obsess over the mistakes in your first drafts. Set a long-term goal of continually learning how to improve your craft along with smaller bite size goals that will help you finish stories you start.

Ask Yourself These Things

Ask yourself why do you want to write? Ask yourself who am I writing for? Once the answers are clear to you, it should ignite that fire in your belly and put the fear to bed.

So, if fear of failure, criticism, or rejection has been holding you back, be brave. Get your words down and share them with the world. The world needs your writing.

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