How To Solve Your Writing Problems

By on February 14, 2017
How To Solve Your Writing Problems - Writer's

Writing can be a scary process. However often it is our writing fears that stop us from becoming the kind of writers that we want to be.

There are so many risks with writing that create these fears within us. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear we will be ridiculed, fear we will waste our time endlessly chasing a dream that is never meant to be.

The problem with our writing fears is that they are often cunning. The don’t simply walk out and present themselves to us clearly. It is, therefore, difficult sometimes to isolate them and address them. Fear disguises itself in many ways. It is about learning to recognise those disguises, pull them off and confront your writing fears that will help you learn and grow as a writer.

Fear is particularly destructive for many reasons. The most obvious one being that it breeds self-doubt.

This is a common complaint of many a writer and fills us with paralysing worries that can stop us from doing the thing we love the most. We don’t believe we are good enough, we mock and torment ourselves, we are our own worst enemies.

The good news is that every writer, yes even the most eye-waveringly talented ones, have to face up to self-doubt from time to time. The only way to overcome it is to be real and fair to yourself.

Not everyone will like your writing.

You will have to face criticism and rejection, no matter how good you are.

Next time you are feeling doubtful take a look through some of the reviews left for the most famous and celebrated books. You’ll find many singing their praises, but also plenty of negative ones too. Before you dismiss all the haters as just jealous, some of them make good points - they simply didn’t enjoy the book. No book can appeal to everyone, and that’s OK.

Be patient with yourself, practice experiment and keep trying. If you do this you’ll find new ways to improve and perfect your craft and you’ll soon find an audience who appreciates what you do.

Another huge fear for writers is never being able to finish their work, or getting writer's block. This is often disguised as perfectionism. You just can’t quite bring yourself to put your book out there without giving it just one more read over first.

Perfectionism is pretty destructive for writers because it ends up stalling their writing or stopping it from happening altogether. You keep changing your ending or start a manuscript only to throw it in an exasperated fury into the bin a few chapters later!

To tackle perfectionism promise yourself that you will write first and judge later. Give yourself a chance to get that first draft down before you start ripping it to shreds. Once you have edited your work to the best of your ability know when it is time to let go.

Fear of time is another common issue writers must face. They always seem to be chasing time, and never quite managing to get hold of enough of it to actually do any writing. Many of us know this pesky problem as procrastination. Writing is always put off until tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. You dutifully set time aside in your busy day to write and then a pile of washing catches your eye, then you just need to take the dog for a quick walk, pay that gas bill, book a restaurant for later, make a cup of tea, and then...oh - all your time has gone.

Facing this fear is all about doing a little soul searching. You must be honest with yourself and the reasons why you avoid sitting down to write. Usually, you realise it’s really about the first fear -self- doubt. If you never write anything no one can judge you on it after all. Often once you are truthful with yourself you can stop procrastinating and get to work.

Try to think of your writing fears as a positive thing. For a start, they are shared by writers all over the world, so there is a sense of solidarity there. Plus working through your fears and getting over them is rewarding and satisfying. Fear of writing just shows that you care about it, and really - knowing that it means something to you, that it is important to you, that you are passionate about it can often be all the motivation you need to face those fears head on.

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

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

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