Overcoming Your Writing Fears
How many times do you say to yourself, “No worries! I’ve got this?” And still, you’re nervous. But, also excited that one-day people will read your books, ebooks, blogs and or articles.
Often times, you fear writing because of your thought-process towards it, which connects to your emotions. Fearing to write usually means somewhere are deep roots of anxiety, inadequacy, and confusion.
Thus, such fears push you to the edge and almost at the deep end, so you give up and give in.
What good is heading for the deep end without first examining its territory. In other words, part of writing anything requires having substantial background knowledge.
Background information helps you understand any writers point of view, voice, and style. It puts the content into perspective and unpacks many layers in the text.
Writing is a form of communication. It reveals perspectives, thoughts, perceptions and thinking processes. You often write through a lens from your cultural background and experiences.
People can use words to convey language via stories, peer journals, research, text, email, letters, etc. Written expression, whatever it is, takes diligence, passion, and practice.
Writing Fears from a once fear of writing woman
I have written mostly scholarly papers. I prefer creative writing and non-fiction writing. My teaching career required professional and academic writing.
While in undergrad, I made sure to take poetry, short story, creative writing and advanced creative writing to keep my “creative juices” flowing. However, I entered undergrad with a strong religious background. I feared writing “outside the box.”
At that time, my religious affiliation projected and imposed teachings that feared “ungodly” writings, books and ideologies. However, my professors saw something beyond my writings.
They challenged me to write from the heart. They were also eager to get into my left side of the brain. Simply put, I was sorely afraid to write what they knew I could do.
I eventually “let go” and began to write with liberations. bell hooks asserts, “one must reinvent the self to become a genuine and creative person.” I did just that. I reinvented my [self] and became real to myself.
“Jackie, I was very pleased that you were in my class,” said my professor, “I got to get to know you better–and most impressively, see you grow significantly as a writer.”
My writings flourished and grew beyond measure, and I allowed my teachers and mentors to lead and guide them. It takes a particular kind of praxis of freedom to express through the writing medium.
Now, I use this experience in business–writing concisely and efficiently for my company, readers, and followers.
I now use my writing experience, writing training and background and apply it to my personal life, business and mentoring program.
This how and where overcoming the fear of writing begins. Applying your background (experiences) and training from mentors (get one if you don’t have one) is one guaranteed way to starting the process.
It will help you have a clearer understanding of writing in your personal life, education, content marketing, and your overall business.
You may wonder how is this possible. Your thought is correct. You see, you can write. You just lack a few simple strategies and understandings for the art of writing.
Understanding fear of writing types
Fear. The word most will not admit to for writing, and few are trying to overcome it. I will help the few here.
Traditionally, fear of writing comes from the words scriptophobia and graphophobia. Scriptophobia when a person has a very high level of fear of their writings in public. Graphophobia more specifically relates to high levels of handwriting.
Both can be lessened and removed once the brain actually processes writing differently. In most cases, these fears came about from negative words and lack of proper validations and affirmations from adequate support.
Both of these phobia’s affect hundreds of people daily, and many within this number suffer greatly. A great number of people avoid jobs that require writing.
I believe fear is a learned behavior upon entering this world. We are born innocently. A child does not enter the world fearing people, creatures or things.
Instead, he or she becomes afraid because of the projected fears of others, or from some form of abuse. Specific signs of verbal and emotional abuse, which are the root of writing fears are:
–Yelling about your being stuck to get words on paper
–Insulting your ideas, writing voice and style
–Negative comment such as name calling
“YOU WILL NEVER WRITE! YOU ARE NOT FIT FOR COLLEGE! CAN YOU SPELL? YOUR WRITING IS JUST HORRIBLE”
–Causing you to feel nervous
–Usage of foul language
Somewhere in your life, one or more of these have occurred. And, if this is the case, I want you to know and understand it as verbal abuse that has created some psychological trauma in you mentally.
According to www.fearof.net
“The fear of writing usually originates from a negative experience in one’s past. Apart from technicalities, many Scriptophobes are also afraid of fear of rejection, fear of ridicule or the fear of embarrassing themselves or fear of being criticized etc. A student might have been rebuked or laughed at owing to something s/he has written or even for their handwriting.”
“This episode can trigger panic attacks each time one has to write in class. This deeply conditioned response can create negative thinking patterns which are hard to change or overcome. Other issues like deep-rooted lack of self-esteem or the fear of persecution can also cause the fear of writing phobia.”
In your spare time, read more on this from the website above. It really breaks down more information on symptoms of scriptophobia.
Psychologists agree that psychological trauma’s settle from life distresses, abuses, and will affect your self-esteem in specific areas. Hence, the fear of writing comes from a place of low-self esteem, which essentially isn’t your fault.
You’re not the blame. You can write! You possess the potential to write! And, now you have the right mentor to help and show you how to write! It only takes the right person to enter your life and begin to mentor you correctly and adequately.
Fear of writing happens to all ages
Take for instance the story of this girl I helped and mentored. A fragile girl feared paper and pencils because of a terrifying experience with her English Language Arts teachers.
Each passing year, she ended up with ELA teachers that weren’t a good fit for her personality. This girl was already timid. She did everything possible to get out of doing any writing assignments.
Her mother didn’t know how to help either because she was clueless about the writing process. One evening, she had to write an essay for homework.
Mom tried to gently convince her to do the assignment not to get a failing grade. The girl cried and yelled at her mom with screeching sounds worse than scraping nails against a chalkboard.
The cries were irritating. She was irritable and caused those her around to be frustrated.
I calmly approached her with a whisper to the ear and asked,
“Are you afraid to write? It’s ok to tell me. I promise not to tell anyone.”
“I hate it. I don’t know how to write. I don’t know where to begin,” she quietly responded wiping her tears with her purple shirt.
I sat down next to her and began a conversation about her best friend. They were separated because of moving to a new state. The girl and her friend hung out every weekend.
Their parents did things together, too. They attended the same church and engaged in many fun things outside of school and church. They sat together in church.
They laughed and snickered in the church at the shouting and praising from the adults in the church. These cute girls did what best friends do all the time.
“Let’s talk about your best friend,” I requested. She turned and looked at me with a smile in her eyes. “But, I want to talk about her in writing. Ok?,” I asked with a chipper voice. “Yea! Let’s do it,” she added.
I began to show her how to write a letter to her friend. We wrote the letter in chunks…four sentences at a time.
She didn’t know until later that each set of sentences were paragraphs. I asked her, “what do you and Lisa say when you see each other?”
We say, “Heyyy! And hug each other.”
Start off your letter just like when you’d first see her.
“Now add the hugs.”
“How do I do that?”
“They go in parentheses. Do you know what they are?”
“Ok. Show me.”
Heyyy Lisa (Hugs)
Why you need a writing mentor to overcome your fears
A great writing mentor understands how the thinking processes work with those who fear writing. This young lady now writes blogs and books with ease.
Another example is one client who came to work with me with a history background. Remember, earlier I mentioned how background plays a vital role in writing and understanding people.
This client demonstrated fear during our initial consultation. “I don’t know how to write like you. Writing has always been a struggle for me. I don’t even know where or how to begin.” Fear.
You may ask how and say she’s just pointing out what she can’t do. Your thought is correct, in part.
Let’s pause from this case and define fear.
Firstly, the origin of this word shows it can fall into two parts of speech: a noun and or a verb.
According to www.dictionary.com, as a noun, it means, “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.”
Using it as a verb, or an action, it states, “be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.” Both definitions share a common theme or message, which is “pain.”
When the client remarked, “Writing has always been a struggle for me,” BAM! There’s the painful trigger and presupposed fear.
Sometimes you have to listen for what’s not directly spoken. And, if you let people talk long enough, you’ll learn their fears and pains. I instantly connected with her and said, “Give me one month, and I’ll have you writing for your blogs, ads and web content.”
What helped her overcome this pain and fear was trust. She could trust someone to help her write. We held weekly sessions for helping to market her brand.
I also showed her how to set up her blog, determine topics related to her brand and taught on why those topics needed to be specific to her brand and market.
After this initial setup, I showed her how to write her blogs and books by way of modeling and examples. She started submitting her content to me weekly, and I evaluated them with effective feedback.
Feedback is important when writing
The feedback is important because it trains the brain and grows strong dendrites, which guarantees better writing.
My whole objective with both scenarios was to replace the traumatized experiences in their writing with reestablishing securing, trustful and beautiful experiences.
This is how you too will overcome fears, my friend. Find the right mentor and or consultant who’ll be the right fit for your personality.
It’s critical because this person must be thorough in the approach and know how to move you from the place of fear and the past abuses encountered from writing.
With the right mentor or coach, you will not find it difficult to trust this person.
Trust will come easy knowing that this person will not cause those negative triggers.
And, you’ll be more receptive to his or her comments and suggestions.
Finally, I’d like to offer a few more suggestions to help overcome your writing fears, and to get your book written!
- Write Every day. You’ll get stronger at expressing your ideas better and notice areas for improvement.
- Get personalized feedback. Joining critique groups will help greatly, especially if a mentor isn’t in your budget.
- Take FREE workshops in your area or webinars to expand your craft.
- Writers are readers. Read craft books and blogs.
- Use writing exercises such as writing prompts
- Conduct research on ALL topics you want to write about.
- Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite.
- Read the genres you write in for better crafting.
- Read other genres, watch TV shows, films, observe how they build the narrative.
- Read your writings aloud.
- Take risks when writing.
- Trust your voice. Don’t try to be like other writers.
- When ready, read with a critical eye.
- Drink coffee or tea.
- Celebrate the end with a glass of wine or your favorite beverage.
Purchase Your Copy of “The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Non-Fiction Book Through Your Fears.”