3 Surefire Ways to Beat the Fear of Writing

24 Jun

3 Surefire Ways to Beat the Fear of Writing“Why does this business writing class have to be so long?” the man asked as he entered the classroom. I was welcoming him to a mandatory training to help supervisors/managers improve their documentation skills. As I began to ask questions, I listened carefully to his words and demeanor.  Before long he confessed that he was very nervous about his writing skills because this was one of his weak areas. Fortunately, by the end of the training session he was equipped with tools to overcome these barriers. For many people, the fear of writing ranks right up there with their fear of public speaking. Many of us experience writer’s block and postpone writing as long as possible. This blog explores three ways to face and beat the fear of writing.

Fear of failing.

For many of us, the fear of writing was instilled in school. I know I’ve cringed at all the red ink on the assignments I turned in. It made me want to just throw my hands up in despair. One of my daughters, spent the summer before going into high school writing stories and poems. It was a joy to see her give place to creative expression. Something happened early on in her English class. She had a teacher that was a harsh critic of every assignment she turned in. She came close to failing that class and I stepped in to help with the dreaded term paper so she wouldn’t fail the class. It was like the light had dimmed. She felt that there was no reason to even try because she could not succeed. There is something final about printed words and the way others can judge them.

HOPE Antidote

The best way to overcome past writing failures is to follow the old adage: “You have to get back on the horse that threw you.” Set aside the first few minutes of the day to write something. Turn off your inner critic and get it down on paper (or in the computer). There are many opportunities to start small by writing a blog or posting encouraging comments about what others have written. Join a writing club where others can give you feedback. Remember that writing is a skill not a dreaded assignment. When you run into those who criticize what you’ve written, check to see if there is merit to their advice. Adapt and move on. You’ll improve as you keep writing and learning.

Fear of making decisions.

I consider myself a creative person. That should make writing easier but it does not because my mind gets overloaded with the ways I could spin a topic. Have you ever noticed how much work goes into deciding what you are going to write about? It is the very nature of the way your mind works and all the connections you make as you begin to speculate on topics to write about. This decision-making process is what makes writing so challenging and tiring. Another term for this is decision fatigue.

HOPE Antidote

Mind-mapping is a wonderful tool to help you record your ideas on paper before making the commitment of writing the actual words. Our minds work in a broad, circular fashion as we freely associate seemingly unrelated thoughts. The writing process takes a more linear approach. Keep a running list of topics that relate to your blog theme. When inspiration strikes write it down.  Ideas for topics surround you. Also, here’s a link to a previous post that might help: Finding Topics.

Fear of making mistakes.

This hurdle is closely tied to both of the topics already mentioned in this blog. The technical mistakes can create major hurdles in setting up a blog. Ask for help if you need it and continue to keep writing because once you start, you will want to establish a consistent schedule. Everyone makes mistakes so set aside your perfectionism and get going.

HOPE Antidote

When you experience writer’s block, start typing something else to get the flow going. I like to start typing a quote about the topic I want to develop. Another tool I use is to look up key words in the Thesaurus. I write them down and that gets the creative juices going. The greatest hope antidote for the fear of making mistakes is to give yourself permission to make them and correct them as quickly as you can. In fact, I’ve made 7 mistakes already and so I know I’m making progress. Also, one of the wonderful things about a blog is that as soon as you spot that typo, you can go in and correct it immediately.

What other tips do you have for beating the fear of writing? What works for you?

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching

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10 Responses to “3 Surefire Ways to Beat the Fear of Writing”

  1. JulieanneCase June 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Yes, writing can really get your mind in a tizzy. I’ve found that if I let go of the thoughts and just look down into my heart, sometimes the most amazing things come forth. The best thing is to just start typing. It’s great to surprise yourself.

    Julieanne Case
    Always from the heart!

    Reconnecting you to your Original Blueprint, Your Essence, Your Joy| Healing you from the Inside Out |Reconnective Healing | The Reconnection| Reconnective Art |

    http://thereconnectivehighway.com

    • Karen Sebastian June 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Julianne, that is just so true. I am so blessed to have the ability to type almost as fast as I think. I want to go back and read your whole series. Your topic re: Energy and healing is fascinating.
      Karen
      Always with HOPE!

  2. Coach Sue June 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Recently, I had a lesson in storytelling and how brainstorming about the character, then the beginning, middle and end of a story can just come out of thin air. Thanks for bringing that back to the forefront of my mind. I love your 3 tips

    Sue Bock
    http://couragetoadventurecoaching.wordpress.com

    • Karen Sebastian June 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      Sue, you’re welcome! Our minds are amazingly awesome if we let release them to give us the answers. I sure appreciate your support.
      Karen

  3. Maureena Bivins PhD, LAc June 25, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    When I am inspired by a particular topic I immerse myself in the information and then I let it percolate for awhile until an idea arises that intrigues me. I have also used a similar method as the mind map that you mention, to organize my topic. I hope your daughter finds her way back to writing again! Great tips.

    • Karen Sebastian June 25, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

      I like your percolating analogy, Maureena. I often call it ‘putting it on the back burner so that it can simmer. I’m encouraging Megan to find her way back. She has a lot inside her the world needs to read. I appreciate the response.

  4. Robbie Schlosser June 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Hi Karen,
    Good tips, thanks. I love to write, and don’t experience that dreaded “fear-of…”. My biggest challenge is being concise. I write all the time, especially first thing in the morning, when ideas bubble! I’ve made this early morning writing a habit. It carries me thru the day, and I’d recommend this habit to anyone needing the occasional boost.
    -Robbie

    • Karen Sebastian June 27, 2012 at 6:44 am #

      Robbie, that is awesome advice. Writing first thing in the morning is perfect. I also love your analogy of the ideas bubbling up!
      ~Karen

  5. Charlotte R Dixon (@Wordstrumpet) July 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    As a writing coach, I often tell my clients to use a timer. Start out setting it for just small increments and work up to more time. It’s amazing how often just getting started is the hardest part!

    • Karen Sebastian July 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      Charlotte, that’s a wonderful tip. I also use a timer sometimes for many things that I don’t particularly want to do. You are so right — getting started is the hard part.

I would love to get your insights on this topic.

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