Are you afraid of writing?

Last Update: April 29, 2018

You have that wonderful idea for an article or even a book. It is superb, original and keeps kicking inside your head 24/7. Unfortunately you don't have time to write, your days have just become crazy lately. And when you finally get some free time and put your beautiful derriere on the seat to start writing, you suddenly remember that it's been a month since you last phoned your mother. You need to do that first. Or the laundry, you must put the clothes in the machine, it will take you just a minute and then you can come back to work. Perhaps just sweep the house very quickly too, and then eat a lemon because it is good for your health.

You may not notice, but will you do just everything you mind can come up with - even eat the lemon - to put off your writing. Calling your mother and cleaning are important, but why do they become so urgent by the time you start writing? That is your mind trying to protect you of a potential threat - the deception; it is just fear. You may be afraid because you don't know how to start. Maybe you don't feel like you are good enough. You have actually started, but you cannot finish. Or you don't want people to think bad things about you.

Sometimes you have so many ideas spinning inside your head that you can't grasp one to start with. Other times all your ideas decide to play the hiding-and-vanish game as soon as you turn on your computer, and they let you staring at the blank screen forever and ever. So then you decide to go searching on the net for inspiration. And never come back. It is the end of your writing section.

One thing that you can do before looking for magical inspirational somewhere is to set a timer for ten minutes and starting typing anything at all. It can be stuff like that:
"I want to write but nothing comes to my mind now. I'm dying to go surf the net but I have to keep typing whatever for 10 minutes..."

You can go that way for the whole 10 minutes or you can actually have a breakthrough and keep writing until your fingers get stiff. If you don't have this breakthrough, don't hurt yourself, go surf the net and try again the next day for 15 minutes. And for 20 minutes the next, 30 minutes the following, and when you least expect it, either you will have written the book you had in your mind for so long, or a textbook on not being able to write it.

Do you ever ask yourself why someone would want to read something you write? So does Meryl Streep about her movies. If someone like Meryl, even after so much public recognition, still thinks she doesn't know how to act, let alone us who may haven't had any approval on our writing yet. So, before you start writing, you research and read tons of stuff to try learn as much as you can until you think you know enough. And guess what? You will never think you know enough.
Here too, the technique of writing whatever for at least 10 minutes can help a lot. I recently took a rather long and disappointing training on affiliate marketing (before finding Wealthy Affiliate), but at least taught one important lesson that I pass to you: you are already good enough to do it now, so do it.

Sometimes starting is easier than finishing. How many projects in you life have you started but never ended? When the text is not coming out exactly how you expected it to be, you feel a whelming need to polish it until you are satisfied. It is the moment you find you have something in common with Mike Jagger when it comes to your writing: you can get no satisfaction. You are officially stuck.
In this situation the 10 minutes technique may not work, but for some writers an artificial deadline does the trick. You can just imagine that you have to submit your text within three days, or one hour, so you have to have it finished by then. Or you can create a real deadline by making a public commitment of finishing it by a certain date to other people. Those can be close persons like friends, or strangers (like people in the Wealthy Affiliate community). What is important is that you feel you will be ashamed if you don't meet the deadline and that motivates you until you're done.

You actually know what you write about, you are an expert and you are absolutely sure you are not a fraud. But what if people starting drawing conclusions about you because of what or how you wrote? They may think negative things about you that are not true, or maybe are, but you don't want others to know your flaws.
The truth is that people will judge you in a way or another, it doesn't matter what you do. In such case, it is better be judged for something you enjoy doing. Keep writing and only think of judgmental people to create villains in stories or illustrate your point of view in articles.

You will never get rid of fear completely. Nor in your writing or anything else in your life, specially those things that matter. Letting fear stop you is the way to shadow. The path of the Jedi is through acknowledging it and doing what you want all the same. The other Path of the Jedi is an attraction at Disneyland. At Disney's attraction, fun is guaranteed; in your writing journey it is likely that you experience pain and setbacks. There might be criticism, there might be self-criticism, there might be rejection. But there will also be joy in the journey and the possibility of recognition in the end if you just allow yourself to keep writing.

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
Patty37 Premium
Great article. I have an issue with coming up with things to right about, especially when I put on the spot to write. This a good article for people who struggle with writing.
MCavalcante Premium
Hi, Patty,
Thank you for enjoying the article. I understand you, I was going through the 'impostor syndrome' when I started writing it.
You can count on me if you ever want to brainstorm ideas.
I wish you much success :-)
Patty37 Premium
You are welcome and thank you. Many blessings in your blogging journey.