Sunday, October 24, 2021

10 Ways to Face Your Writing Fears

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

Fall is upon us and with it come black cats and trick or treaters. Some cute and some . . . well . . . not so much. In this season of black and orange, I thought I'd highlight some fears all writers face and how to overcome them. 

At a recent writing conference, I was talking to a friend of mine and this person confided she was afraid she just didn’t have what it took 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?

10 Tips to Help You Face Your Writing Fears

1. Pray First. Yep, EVERY SINGLE TIME. I've learned—the hard way—that before my fingers hit the keyboard, I pray. I don't care if I'm writing a blog post, working on a book, or scheduling social media. God has a purpose for every single keystroke. And I for one, want to make sure I'm focused on His purpose instead of mine.

2. 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!

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Find a Writing Community. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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 are my tips to help me face my writing fears. 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!


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

Photo by Sašo Tušar 


  1. Wow, did I need this very word this morning! I am stuck in the middle of a chapter, not clear on how to proceed with most of these fears shouting at me I’m a condemning whisper! Thanks, Edie! I’m going to make my coffee and sitting down in ten minutes with an encouraged heart!

    1. Oh Deb! Thank you for these encouraging words. I'm so glad God was able to use this post to encourage you! Blessings, E

  2. Every single one of these suggestions is so good, Edie! Finding a writing community? An absolute must? Praying? Again -- a must. Thanks so much for such a needed reminder.

  3. This is something I struggle with endlessly. I do continue to write, but I have a hard time reading it abd rewriting because I feel like it's so awful. I am attempting my firsr rewrite, but I have no idea what to do, add, or take out. Im often at a loss to write at all. Even if I have an idea I like, I struggle finding words to put down. I keep wondering if I need to scrap my rewrite or push through?

  4. Edie, Thank you for such an encouraging post. I am frequently fearful when I sit down to write. But I remind myself to pray first, and that God is not the author of fear. That's not to say that the fear immediately goes away, but I am calmer.

  5. NICE ~ the first post I've read by you! Thanks :)

  6. Great reading this morning, Edie, and so helpful. Thank you for all your blogs and those you give to us from other authors. All are so meaningful and helpful.

  7. Just the reminder I needed today.
    Thanks, Edie.

  8. Hi Edie,

    This is so perfectly timed. I’ve been in a debacle trying to figure out if I should write or teach. Teaching has been strained with COVID19 and it’s tripled our workloads. Now add the strain of moving to the beautiful Smoky Mountains in a remote town. But I look around, and our chalet on the hill is the perfect writer’s retreat. My husband has said next time it rains, he’ll help me create my office. I’m going to put this list by my work station. This means so much,

    Thanks for the encouragement,