“Writing frequently and writing well is no easy feat. It takes practice and discipline, both of which are incredibly important to the creative process. We can tend to worry too much about the outcome of our work, that we simply don’t get any work done. We may have incredible ideas for an upcoming piece, or a piece of helpful advice we want to share with the writing community, but we never getting around to drafting just about anything because we’re afraid of how it may perform. I went through this when I was beginning my Medium journey, and I will say that I was able to separate my fears from my productivity in order to create content that was important to me, and this is how you can do the same.”
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
ADDRESSING YOUR WRITING FEARS HEAD ON
This is the first step in dealing with a road bump in the writing process if it’s one that hinders you. This was certainly something that I dealt with when I was experiencing a bit of writer’s block earlier this month, I was struggling to come up with ideas and I wasn’t quite sure why. I knew that I wanted to write, but I was struggling to begin, and instead of making any viable progress, I simply kept putting it off – making excuses like: “I’m not inspired enough to write right now” or “I will write, just a bit later when I can think a bit clearer.”
I was the only thing standing in my way, I was the reason I wasn’t writing. It took a while before I came around to the idea that maybe I’m overthinking things a bit too much, and I knew that something had to be done in order to preserve my productivity as well as the projects I was working on at the time. So, I made a plan. I opened up a new document (since I didn’t have my writing journal on me at the time) and I began writing wholeheartedly about all of the things I had been afraid of, trying to work through them one bullet point list at a time.
When I could see it all out in front of me, I realized that half of the reasons were so menial, they didn’t deserve the attention and worry I was giving them. I still return to that list to this day. Not only did I want to remind myself why I began writing in the first place, but I wanted to physically see just how much progress I’ve made since then, and it worked.
If you’re struggling with writing fears of your own, and you haven’t even addressed the possibility of their existence, I believe it’s time for a bit of reflection. It was certainly something I had to claw out of, but I was able to do so because I went looking for the problem. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know where to begin, nor was it that I didn’t have any ideas. It was that I couldn’t get to them because I was too afraid to try. Don’t be too afraid to try.
MAKE PROGRESS NOT EXCUSES
There was a time where all I knew how to do was make excuses, thankfully that time has passed. If you find that you’re not sticking to your schedules, making the progress you know you’re capable of making, then it’s time to start brainstorming. The problem is in there somewhere, waiting to be found, waiting to be dealt with. If it is a case of writing fear, then the first step is to acknowledge them, understand them, work through them. They might not even be as big of a worry as you may think they are. (They certainly weren’t for me). I look back at those fears and I can’t even believe that I spent my creative time worrying about them, and that in itself is progress worth experiencing.
There are always going to be bumps in the road, and we’re not always going to be at our prime creatively, but what’s important is progress. If you’re making progress, you’re getting somewhere. Sometimes, we just need to set our inhibitions aside for a while, reflect, understand why we feel the way we do so that it doesn’t hinder our creativity any further. I just wanted to write. Now that I’ve worked through a great deal of those fears, I am making the progress I could’ve only dreamed of back then – and you can too.
Sometimes, we just need a push in the right direction, and I hope that I was able to give you that push. If you want to make progress, you’re going to have to find a way to begin, and you’re going to have to see that project through until the end. Creating content you love starts with understanding why you love it. So, give it a try.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post!