Sometimes writing scares me. Maybe you can relate?
It usually doesn't feel like fear. It's not a breathless, panicking, but more of a static, unmoving, unmotivated lethargy that zaps all my creative energy. When I would have time to write, I don't.
Social media scrolls beckon. Reels to watch, books to read, TV shows to binge. Don't you dare tell me that it's just me.
Anything but writing. Many days, I've sat a 5 on a scale of 1 - 10 of how much writing intimidates me. Selecting the right series of words, telling the correct story, planning the cover and all the things that go into being an indie publisher -- it's a lot. It can feel overwhelming.
Maybe this sounds familiar --
- What if I'm a bad writer?
- What if it's not good and no one reads it?
- What if I fail?
- What if I always feel afraid?
- What if people find out I'm an imposter?
In the past, I entertained those questions -- those subtle lies and attacks that I'm not good enough. When I did, I stayed in a slump and health with writer's block for three years. But since then I've learned how to combat the fear and break through writer's block so that writing is fun again!
Acknowledge the fear
Ignoring fear is not the answer at all. That is a tactic that rarely works -- it definitely never worked on my older brother when we were growing up. He just found other ways to be even more aggravating. It wasn't until I acknowledged him and told him how I felt and he
Our fear is instinctual and a part of our design to protect us from danger. But sometimes, it lies. Fears job is to be afraid and make you feel afraid, to get your attention. We don't handle fear correctly and instead of listening to its point but then moving it aside, we let it take over.
What does Fear have to say to you? It might have a point, but it likely doesn't. But you can't overcome your fear without acknowledging it does exist.
Why is fear hanging onto your dreams? Why does writing trigger these feelings for you? It may be that you're replaying old messages from your childhood about your writing passion or about writers in general. I know for me, I received the message that writing wasn't a 'real' job or it wasn't the kind of job someone like me could have. When I kept asking myself 'why', I was able to get to the root, at the strange, little seed that had been planted over a decade ago.
But I didn't believe those lies. I believe me, and I am a writer.
Even though it had been there for a while, it was still pretty easy to rip it out. Some of the roots of the lie remain, but it is simple to cut off any new sprouts that try to grow.
Answer yourself honestly. Talk aloud -- alone if you live with other people who might not appreciate your impassioned monologue. Or write it out. Not on the keyboard but pen and paper. Use one of those pretty journals you love to hoard.
Challenge the fear. Ground yourself in truth. Use affirmations. You can create your own using positive, present tense language like
-- I am a best selling author
-- I am full of creativity
I actually created 14 affirmations for writers. They can be printed or saved as your phone screen -- click here.
Wherever you find your affirmations, speak them out loud over yourself. Your mind only believes what you tell it, a nd if you have old stories in your head, it might take a while for you to believe it.
But you have to believe it. We only do what we believe we can -- nothing more.
What is honestly the worst thing that could come from you writing -- the blog, the story, the book? What if you fail?
If you think of failing as an ending, then it will feel awful. But if you think of failing as a lesson, as an opportunity to learn and grow and improve, then you'll be excited.
Fail forward faster.
Write down the worst case scenario and a plan. Ask a different set of questions, like
- What if I never write my book? How will I feel?
- What if I wait and wait and I've grown older and lost time? Will I regret more that I did or did not write?
- What if I past this fear down to my children? What if they never learn how to pursue their own dreams?
For me, it's far scarier to live a life less full of things that genuinely make me happy. Of staying small and doing what's expected. Of waking up in fifty years having worked at a company I care nothing about and do work that matters to no one.
Book writing is one of the ways I plan on making my grand corporate escape. I've thought up at least 17 other ways related to writing alone to help with that plan. But a plan without implementation is pretty useless. Martha Krejci created her signature program called the Home Based Revolution that gives a full framework and plan to turn your side gig into your 7+ figure main gig.
May 15 Saturday, I'm teaching a free workshop on how to beat your writer's block. Click here to join the event. I can't wait to meet you there, and help you be the writer you want to be.
Blessings in your endeavors,