Overcoming A Fear Of Writing

Perhaps the most widely aspired endeavor among human beings is to someday write a book, and yet most people don’t, simply because they claim to have a fear of writing.
Fear Of Writing
However, writing is really no different than walking when you think about it.

You put one foot in front of the other to go, and you put one word after another to write.

It’s all the same.

The real fear of writing, you see, isn’t about writing at all.

Rather, it’s a fear of exposing one self to criticism.

After all, if you say something stupid or incorrectly, and your words are not recorded in some way, they disappear into the ethereal with graceful deniability. But when you put your words to published print, they become part of your legacy and will follow you until the day you die.

So make no mistake, anyone with any ability to communicate whatsoever can write.

Writing is a simple procedure you probably do every day, whether you jot down notes on your to do list; text your friends on a mobile device; or add a daily excerpt in your diary. We all use words all the time, and they’re often written down.

What’s really troubling though, is the legacy thing. The undeniable, unretractable fact that you might publish something less than perfect for all the world to become bitterly disappointed over.

Which is completely understandable.

Yet it may help to ease your fear of writing to know, you’re not alone.

Virtually every author who’s ever penned any sort of publication struggles with this same adversity. No author is ever completely satisfied with their work, no matter how famous they are, or how classical their work ends up being.

In fact, there’s a saying among the more highly acclaimed writers that goes something like, “only bad authors think their work is really good.”

Can you imagine Edgar Alan Poe reading over The Raven and thinking, “this is rubbish”? Or Ernest Hemingway saying the same about The Old Man and the Sea?

Well chances are they did, and continued to do so right up to the time they sent it to their publisher.

You see, no one has ever published the perfect book, and neither will you.

So don’t worry about it.

If you aspire to writing, write. If you have a story to tell, then it’s worth the risk of getting criticism to tell it.

You can’t let a fear of writing deny the world of its significance, can you?

Let your aspiration give you inspiration, and write it. And if all else fails, you can always hire a proofreader and editor to put your mind at ease.

There is no excuse!


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8 Responses to Overcoming A Fear Of Writing

  1. Bindhurani says:

    I have the fear of writing. Even though I have a blog, i am still scared. I am afraid of writing things which won’t make any sense to other people. I am afraid that I will be the only one interested in my blogs. Scared that I will not be entertaining the visitors to my blog….
    Think, you are right. There is no excuse for me…I need to conquer the fear, by going through the fear.
    Bindhurani recently posted..New Crochet projectMy Profile

    • Ken says:

      Hi Bindhurani,

      I took a look at your blog, and noticed you had two very nice comments on what you wrote. That means you’re connecting nicely with your readers, and they seem interested as well.

      You have a pleasant style, easily understandable, and entertaining. This puts you ahead of a lot of bloggers :)

      Of course you won’t be as interesting to everyone, but then again, nobody is. Just keep doing what you’re doing and those who like the things you write will find you and follow along. And by all means, use those great comments to gain the confidence that you’re doing a good job.

      When you feel ready to tackle a book, let us know so we can help you.

  2. Shai-Shai says:

    I happen to have this “extra” fear of writing. I’m happy I came across this article which now gives me the motivation to overcome it.
    Shai-Shai recently posted..Saging MantikilyaMy Profile

  3. Cat says:

    So true. It’s not a fear of writing – it’s a fear of criticism. I’ll be bearing this in mind from now on.

    I’ve found that taking a deep breath and just doing it has really helped me. I’ve just started a blog and I’m really enjoying it – it’s given me the confidence to get my work out there in other areas too.
    Cat recently posted..Adventures in cat cuisineMy Profile

    • Ken says:

      Glad to hear it Cat. Blogging is a great way to build confidence. Most readers are forgiving, and they can instantly give you feedback to help monitor whether or not you’re getting your message across.

  4. Laura says:

    Being a science writer, I am always afraid – what if my facts are wrong, what if I get so caught up in trying to write beautifully that I lose track of the goal of the article, what if the “real” scientists laugh at me, what if the “real” writers laugh at me??

    I love this article because it delicately sums up what a writing professor of mine once taught me – No piece of writing is ever complete. The writer will always have changes, long after it’s published and unchangeable. This professor, Anne Fitzsimmons at Syracuse University, introduced me to Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird,” and in it is a chapter entitled “Shitty First Drafts.” Lamott talks about how she hopes a car will run her over before any one has a chance to read the crap she wrote in her first draft.

    It’s how I feel every day :)

    But it’s okay.

    It’s okay because I know I’m going to edit, and re-edit, and toss and start again, and eventually I’ll produce something that’s worth reading (whether anyone reads it or not is another story.)I will re-read and edit this post, for fear of what you’re thinking right now…

    So thank you for this – Step by step, bird by bird, I write, regardless of the critics, regardless of my fear.
    Laura recently posted..Amber — Fossilized Tree ResinsMy Profile

    • Ken says:

      No, thank you Laura for beautifully showing the real struggles of a writer. I’m sure this will help a lot of people!

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