5 Ways to Overcome Your Writing Fears: What’s Holding You Back?

“Around this time last year I was struggling to find a way to keep up with my work creatively. I was struggling to sit down to get a bit of writing done, whether that’d be a blog post or a few chapters of a novel I had been working on. I could not harness the creative energy necessary to write – or so I thought. I hadn’t realized it until recently just how I managed to step outside of my comfort zone and really pay attention to just how important it was to continue to try – no matter how hard it can be. I had felt quite uninspired for a long time, and I couldn’t quite understand why. I was happy, content, and excited, but I just couldn’t channel that into my writing because I had been so used to writing when I felt the exact opposite. It was hard trying to find middle ground, but I can safely say that I have finally found it. I know now what it is that works for me, and while I know that it can be a constant struggle trying to maintain a consistent level of productivity, I’ve chosen to focus my attention on just how rewarding the process can be. Whether I am happy with the outcome of my work or not, at least I tried.”

5 Ways to Overcome Writing Fears

What Worked For Me:

  1. Acknowledging the Issue and Assessing its Effect: For a long time, I had been so sure that I was just in a bit of a funk and that I’d get back to writing as consistently as I once was soon enough. Though, too much time had passed and I wasn’t quite sure why I simply could not find the words to say, I could not create anything, I was at more of a standstill than I realized. When this happened I decided it’d be best to start small. I would run down to the Chapters bookstore, grab a new Moleskine, and make it my mission to at least capture my thoughts –  because I honestly couldn’t even do that. After a while, I managed to get honest with myself, I was able to truly pinpoint the problem because I hadn’t quite realized how much the fear of not being able to finish held me back. I knew I hadn’t finished anything I had been proud of in a while, and I knew that in order to overcome that fear I’d have to put the effort in to finish something. I eventually put aside my differences, chronicled my progress, and forced myself to get back to work even when I really didn’t feel like it. That’s what made all of the difference.
  2. Creating a Consistent Pattern: The first real accomplishment after this setback had been to establish a somewhat consistent blogging schedule. I remember what it felt like when writing one blog post a week had been challenging, because I honestly felt like I didn’t have much to say. Though, as I struggled through, I would start to write a post twice a week, and I would feel so motivated afterwards – whether someone read the post or not. For me, it had been a way for me to start my week productively, and it set me up to get quite a lot of work done. Nowadays I have been writing at least two posts a week, but I still have quite a bit of work to do. However, I can say that it is a very fulfilling process. 
  3. Finding Inspiration in Unconventional Ways: I had a lot of trouble with this one, because up until a few months ago, I had only been writing when I was inspired. While those writing sessions have been great, it wasn’t something I could rely on. It got to the point where I felt like I was in too deep to continue, and so I’d restart projects left and right, but I just couldn’t remain satisfied. I noticed a decline in my attention span, and I hadn’t read a thing in ages. I’ll touch on this a bit more in the next point, because it had to do partially with my stress level. I began to read a bit more, and sometimes I’d come across something as simple as a word I didn’t know the meaning of, and that would kickstart the next chapter of my novel. Or, I’d have a moment where I’d say, “I can use that sometime.” It really did help me along.
  4. Getting Out of Your Head and Learning to Diminish Stress: Sometimes, we bite off more than we can chew. For in that moment we truly believe that we can reach the end goal, and we might feel inspired enough to do so at the time, but what happens when that inspiration wears thin? The fact that I wasn’t writing was stressing me out, but I couldn’t find it in myself to begin. That was until I learned to not be so hard on myself for the work I wasn’t getting done. Life does get busy, and it can be hard to find the time, but I truly believe that if you want to do it badly enough, you will find the time eventually. I still have a hard time balancing this sometimes, but I always make sure to make up for it on the days I have a bit more time – and that effort is what ushered me along. I had a lot of other stresses at the time, eventually learning about dealing with both what I can and can’t control. Once I got out of my head a bit, tapping into all of the things that once made me so happy, (reading, gaming, going out for a walk), I was able to write that much more freely. 
  5. Writing When You Aren’t “Inspired,” “In the Right Mindset,” and or “Ready” to Begin: This was hard, I must admit. I had a hard time pulling out my laptop to continue a piece, when at the time I really didn’t know how to continue. I noticed that in the past I really didn’t like re-reading my work before the editing process because I’d always find something I wanted to fix. Though, I’ve been making an effort to change that because whenever I feel stuck, I re-read the last chapter or two, pull out my journal and start asking a few questions:
  • What’s this character’s purpose, what’s her story?
  • Why did she do that? What is her end goal?
  • What is she trying to accomplish?

I did this for a variety of different characters, really building their stories from the ground up, and that in itself gave me what I needed to really catapult my story into a nearly completed first draft. When the words started flowing again, I took advantage of it, and when the words stopped flowing, I made it my mission to get some down anyway. I started with writing 500 a day, and now I’m up way past that, making an incredible amount of progress, and looking forward to getting this piece edited and up on my Wattpad Profile

I do hope that this post helped!

Don’t let the fear of not being able to finish hold you back.

You can do this.

Thank you for reading!

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