How To Face Your Writing Fears

By on April 25, 2016

Writing is not for the faint hearted. With it comes anxiety, self-doubt and stress.

Having the ability to keep going even when you feel unsure, disheartened and like you are not good enough is tough, but these feelings are all unfortunately par for the course when it comes to writing, and trying to get your work noticed and appreciated.

The writing road is infrequently smooth. However, perseverance and self-belief are so important when it comes to staying strong, sticking it out through those moments when we feel lost and vaguely ridiculous for clutching onto our dreams which seem so hopelessly far away.

So how do you face your writing fears head on, and make sure they never get the better of you?

Misery loves company.

One fact that you can take comfort in, is that we’ve all been there. Writers are often troubled and anxious creatures, and even the most successful and seemingly confident ones will have, at least at some point, been riddled with the same, often crippling feelings of self-doubt - the ones that can stop you from putting pen to paper altogether.

It’s easy to find heartfelt stories from your peers - take solace in their darkest moments - look for writers you admire and read their stories of the peaks and troughs of their career, how difficult they found it at times, and think 'if they can do it, so can I'.

Accept it

Get ready for the bad news. It’s unlikely that these feelings will just disappear. You think, perhaps, that if you just get your foot in the door, get one piece published, for example, that you can go forth and conquer, confident that you have now been acknowledged for your talent and all the blood sweat and tears you have put into your work.

But the truth is that every time you write a new piece of work the same questions will come flooding back.

What if it’s no good? What is it’s rejected over and over again? What if everyone realises I have no idea what I am talking about?

Try to learn to accept these feelings, develop a thick skin, and, before you send off a piece of new work, ready yourself for battle. Always care but never let any negative comments or rejections destroy you. Think of yourself as a solider in the battlefield, who fights for what you believe in, and will never give up no matter what is thrown at you.

Expect it

Rejection is a writers greatest fear, but just like anything, it becomes easier to deal with the more frequently it happens! Plus however crushed you feel, you do get over it in time. Writing is a marathon not a sprint, and even the most successful authors have had their share of rejections. Getting rejected makes you part of that club, yes the one with the J K Rowling's, the  D H Lawerence’s and the George Orwell’s of the writing world - wear your rejection badge with pride - it’s an honour to be part of the club.

Work with it

Use your anxiety self doubt to tap into emotions that you may have not had the chance to explore before. Writers aren’t the only people who feel this way, if you can explore and capture your feelings beautifully, use them for a character - people will identify with them, and it may just be the way your writing gets noticed!

Do not give up

While this may be easier said than done if you don't give up how will you ever know what could have been.

Keep going or die trying - that’s a motto all writers should have. If you have a passion, or a dream then follow it - you’ll be even more miserable if you don’t.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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