Tag Archives: bloggers

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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Bloggers ~ Taking Time to Focus

8 May

Taking time to focusOne of the reasons I like my Canon DSLR camera so much is that it has an ‘auto-focus’ feature. I turn the camera toward the subject of my picture, press half-way down on the button and it comes in to focus. It doesn’t take a long time and is easy enough for a child to use (which I appreciate). I want to apply this principle to my business.

A well-managed blog is one of the most important pieces of your online networking. I’m normally an enthusiastic person who tackles projects with energy without considering a great deal of strategy. I’ve made a commitment to write a blog yet struggle to come up with topics. That’s where strategic focus becomes important.

First of all, I need to talk about how challenging and exciting it is to come up with topics for my blogs and not dread the writer’s block that can set in when I wait until the last-minute. Secondly, I need to consider my audience and focus on their needs. Take time to get to learn about their interests. Engage them and set up relationships. Ask them for topics they would like to see covered. Pick a general topic and explore different parts of it. As you write the blog, focus on each part briefly and move on.

Stop looking at what everyone else is doing and get going (for procrastinators). One of the best things about posting a blog is that you can make corrections if you see the need to do so (for perfectionists). Select a topic and focus on the different facets. The best part of all is that you will grow personally and your business will develop a stronger foundation.

What do you plan to focus on this week? The few minutes you spend will pay off in the end.

Image from Dreamstime.

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

Why should I blog?

3 Jan

Get started on your blog todayWriting can be difficult for many of us. If you are one who finds writing challenging I would like to urge you to start blogging. I have discovered that my writing has improved as I draft my weekly faith-based blogs under the name of HopeGrams and my more prolific blog for HOPEpreneurs (the one you are reading right now).

Here are some steps to get you started:

Pick a blogging site

Both of the blogs are on WordPress. I discovered that it was easy to use and customize without knowing the techie stuff. I am very comfortable in that venue now but have learned on my own. I am starting a new blog on Tumblr called The Power of Hope 4 Caregivers. I’ll let you know how it comes along as I progress. It seems pretty simple so far and adds the benefit of providing a way to connect with others who are also writing Tumblr blogs. They have created a community for bloggers and it is growing exponentially.

Set up a simple blog

Pick your theme and get going. This is one venue where you won’t want to wait until you have perfect. I realize as I’ve gone back to read some of my original HopeGrams that my writing is improving. I’ve even had comments from others. The most important thing is to share your heart. It will also get you in writing mode because of the deadlines you will set up in the next point.

Create a writing schedule

Determine how often you will write in your blog. It is a real turn-off to click on link to a blog and see that it’s been months since the person posted in their blog. It is possible to create drafts when you have time to write and then simply go in and publish them according to your schedule. I have written a HopeGram almost every week for a year and half. It is now part of what I do. The great part is that I am always looking for topics which are also stories that I blend into my keynotes. It works both ways.

Be consistent and respond to comments

Set up the notification to get an email when you get comments. I have mine set up where I have to approve the comments. This is a good idea because you can get spam. On the flip side, it’s important to respond quickly to the comments you receive. This begins to build your online presence and sense of community.

What are waiting for? Let’s start a dialogue around your experiences in setting up and writing in a blog. We will talk later about how to find topics and ways to promote your blog. I look forward to hearing from other HOPEpreneurs. You have a life message inside of you that the world needs to hear. I would love to promote your blog. I will also be thrilled to gladly help you in any way that I can.

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.

Copyright © 2012 Picture Hope International, Inc.

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