Monday, December 19, 2022

Common Writing Fears and What to Do About Them

There are three big reasons why writers struggle to finish their books: fear, time, and focus. The hardest part about being an author may not be the physical act of writing or coming up with ideas, but facing all the fears that crop up as you go through the process. Writing is a long, slow process for most writers so it’s very likely you’ll face a few fears along the way and they may pop up more than once.

Unlike with the fears of water, heights, or spiders, writers may face a new fear popping up every other week. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of success, and so many more.

Common Fears Writers Face

Writers face a lot of the same fears as each other. That’s what makes them common fears. It’s normal. We fear that we won't finish our book, get it published, see it on bookstore shelves, and that readers will hate our sequels. We fear we won't make enough money to earn a living as a writer or that we’ll never win any awards. But here are the most common writing fears we face.
  • Fear of not being good enough. Do we even know enough to write a book? Can we tell a cohesive story that people will understand and enjoy?
  • Fear of rejection. If we’re not good enough, our stories will continue to get rejected, right? But rejection is a part of the game. ALL writers get rejected. Not everything we write will get published. Most things take time to find the right home.
  • Fear of failure. Even once we’re published, people will reject what we have to say and criticize our work. Maybe we won’t earn out our advance. Maybe we’ll get a smaller book deal later because of it.
  • Fear of nobody reading your book. Word of mouth is the best form of book advertisement, but if nobody reads it then there won’t be any word of mouth. Sales will flop. People need to read our books. That’s why we wrote it in the first place. If nobody reads our books, then what’s the point?
  • Fear of success. How can I keep doing interviews and answer all these emails while keeping up with my same writing pace? What if I run out of good ideas? What if the next book isn’t as good as the current one? What if it gets turned into a movie and I don’t approve of the actors or they twist the story’s meaning around? What if I can’t meet all my deadlines?

Our questions produce a lot of fears. Or is it the other way around. Either way, a little uncertainty is normal. Just don’t let your fears paralyze you. Keep writing!  

The Biggest Struggle As a Writer

The most difficult thing about being a writer is dealing with the constant onslaught of negative thoughts, fears, and doubts. Just about anyone can learn how to plot a story or add characterization, get more consistent and reach word count goals, or keep a rolling list of new ideas. But not everyone is equipped with a positive mindset.

I just bought the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. In chapter 6, he talks about how motivation is overrated and how our environment often matters more. Later in chapter 19, he shares how to stay motivated. Because clearly it’s still a component for creating good habits, staying positive, and facing your fears.

Writing fears are normal. Fears of failure, success, not being good enough, criticism, not finishing your book, rejection, and so much more plague many writers. It’s normal. The question is what to do about it? How do you overcome your fears? How do you keep writing in the face of fear?

Write anyway. Do it scared. Share successes with others. It will build your confidence. Confidence breeds motivation. Confidence fights fear. Confidence is a belief and hope that all will turn out well no matter what happens. Because you’re good enough.

Ways to Overcome Your Fears About Writing

Get energized and excited to invite enthusiasm back into your life. THIS is what helps you keep going. Here are three ways to kick your fears to the curb and keep moving forward. 
  1. Share your wins. When you share every accomplishment (big or small) with others, you acknowledge that you are making progress toward your goals. It gives you confidence. Every confidence-boosting win you experience will help you overcome your fears and keep writing.
  2. Embrace progress, not perfection. When you write, you are constantly improving. Writing gives you experience. The sheer act of doing the work means you are progressing in the right direction. Fear stops you from writing. I give you permission to let perfection fly out the window. Of course, taking writing workshops helps you continue to learn and improve your craft too. Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to your past self. You’ll see improvement. And that will strengthen your confidence too.
  3. Lastly, but definitely not least, attend a writing retreat! Going to a writing retreat is one of the BEST ways to fight your writing fears. You’ll meet lots of other people to share your writing wins with. If the retreat offers critique sessions, you’ll be able to find things in your manuscripts to improve and make it better. Everything you learn in writing workshops, and every win you have will give you more confidence, more excitement, more motivation, and more momentum to keep going. Fight your fears. Be brave. Attend a writing retreat.

Keep writing, keep running.

Christie :)


1 comment:

  1. As an AI language model, I don't have fears, but I can provide you with some common writing fears and tips on how to overcome them:

    Fear of the blank page: The thought of starting a piece of writing from scratch can be daunting. To overcome this, try freewriting for a few minutes to get your creative juices flowing. Write anything that comes to mind without worrying about grammar or structure.

    Fear of not being good enough: Many writers worry that their writing isn't good enough or that they're not talented enough to succeed. To overcome this, remember that everyone starts somewhere and that writing is a skill that can be improved with practice.

    Fear of criticism: The fear of negative feedback can be paralyzing. Remember that constructive criticism can help you improve your writing and that not everyone will like your work. Seek feedback from trusted friends or writing groups.

    Fear of failure: Many writers worry that their work will never be published or that they'll never make a living from their writing. To overcome this, focus on the process of writing and the joy it brings you rather than the outcome.

    Fear of running out of ideas: Writer's block can be a real fear, but it doesn't have to be. Take breaks when you need them, read widely to get inspiration, and keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas as they come to you.

    Fear of not being original: It's natural to worry that your writing isn't original enough, but remember that every story has been told before. It's your unique perspective and voice that makes your writing original.

    Fear of not finishing: Starting a project is one thing, but finishing it can be another. To overcome this, set achievable goals for yourself, break your project into smaller parts, and celebrate your accomplishments along the way.

    Remember that these fears are common among writers and that you're not alone. The key is to acknowledge them, face them head-on, and keep writing The 8 Best Law Schools in New York that Should be on your List!


I love hearing from you! Share your thoughts below.


Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...