Thursday, August 10, 2017

Face Your Writing Fears Head On With These 9 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and this person confided that she was afraid she didn’t have what it takes to be a writer. “I’m just not good enough to get a book published, and I don’t know if I ever will be.”

“Welcome to the club,” I told her. 

My answer wasn’t what she expected. She had forgotten something we had heard together at a conference many years ago. We’d been listening to an established author talk about his own fear and inadequacies. He told the audience that every time he sits down to write a new book, the fears resurface and he’s certain he no longer has what it takes to make it in publishing.

Hearing him confess his own fears gave me hope. Beyond that, it brought home an important fact. Being published—no matter if it’s a single book or a hundred—won’t necessarily make the fear disappear. 

So what’s a writer to do?

Tips to Keep Help You Face Your Writing Fears
1. Write Regularly. For some of us that means daily. For others it means on the weekend, or three days a week. The truth is, mood is a fickle mistress and time is NEVER lying around waiting to be found!

2. Choose to Ignore the Negative Voices in Your Head. We all have them—those irritating whispers that tell us we’re not good enough, and we’re selfish to even try to follow our dreams. We can write anyway, or we can cave in to our insecurities. Published writers keep writing, no matter what those voices say.
  
3. Write Outside Your Comfort Zone. The publishing industry is in a constant state of change. What you write today, may not be popular five years from now. As a writer, you’ll have to constantly be changing and growing. Get used to it now and avoid the deer-in-the-headlights reaction when change comes your way.

4. Find a Writing Tribe. This is a tough enough business without trying to fly solo. We all need fellow writers who understand what we’re doing. These fellow travelers will keep us accountable and encourage us when we think we can’t go any further.

5. Write When You Don’t Have the Time. So often I hear people who want to be published talk about how they’ll start when they find the time. The truth is that time is NEVER lying around waiting to be found. Following our dreams takes sacrifice. We must be willing to make the hard choices and carve out time to write.

6. Stay Active in the Industry. Join writing groups—locally and online. Give back to the writing community at large by volunteering to help others. Trust me when I tell you that no matter where you are in your writing journey, there are those less experienced. And by staying active, it’s harder to quit. The times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel it was having to answer to others that kept me going.

7. Write When You’re NOT Inspired. We cannot wait for the mood strike to write. Inspiration is a fickle mistress. If we’re serious about pursuing publishing dreams, we must move beyond depending on our mood to be able to write.

8. Remind Yourself Why You Write. For me, written words are the way I process life. I don’t talk things out, I write things out. God designed me to be like this. Writing is His gift to me. I have those words taped above my desk so I’ll never forget.

9. Write Through the Fear. Being a published writer goes hand in hand with fear. We’re afraid we won’t be good enough to be published, then that no one will read the book, and finally that we won’t be able to write another book. 

These tips help me face my writing fears head on. What would you add to the list? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLES

"Remind yourself why you write" is one tip to keeping #writing through the fear from @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

15 comments:

  1. Thank you, Edie. I think I am just beginning to realize some of the underlying fears that have found a hiding place in my heart. Truly He has blessed me with so many resources and fellow writers to walk with. Thank you again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, we all face many of the same fears. By surrounding us with other writers we can see them for the lies they are! Blessings, E

      Delete
  2. Great post about helping me get through the valley of the shadow of doubt. Your refreshing words poured water in the valley. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, that's awesome - get me through the valley of the shadow of doubt. What an awesome analogy! Blessings, E

      Delete
  3. Love this post! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, thank you, and especially thank you for stopping by! Blessings, E

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the useful advice and words of encouragement. My favorite: write when you are not inspire. Something I need to work on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ingmar, I'm glad I'm able to encourage others - that you find value in my words gives me encouragement! Blessings, E

      Delete
  5. I'd add: Write through the tech failures. Most likely they'll happen more than once. "There's no crying in baseball...."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a FANTASTIC addition! We downplay how discouraging and scary all this new tech is. Thanks for the insightful addition, Blessings, E

      Delete
  6. So much like your devotion at Cross-N-Pens today. Those negative voices in our head telling us our writing isn't good enough and we should just throw in the towel don't come from God. And He's the only one we need to listen to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ellen, that's really the bottom line - we get our marching orders from God - we should also look to Him for our confirmation! Blessings, E

      Delete
  7. "Write When You Don’t Have the Time. So often I hear people who want to be published talk about how they’ll start when they find the time. The truth is that time is NEVER lying around waiting to be found. Following our dreams takes sacrifice. We must be willing to make the hard choices and carve out time to write."

    Waiting for the Perfect Time means perpetual waiting. Thanks for this reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I needed to read this! I've muttered many of these excuses to myself lately in order to avoid writing. But I just need to ignore all of it and find the joy again. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete