Beginner Writers: Conquer Your Fears.

For the past few weeks I had been doing well with my writing.  I had finally found the ‘voice’ for one of my protagonists, yet after taking an unscheduled break, I found myself hitting a wall.  I had lost my ‘mojo’, and with it my confidence.

I had always believed that what prevented me from writing was fear, yet I could never actually put a finger on what exactly that fear was.  What actually prevents me from writing is a lack of confidence – a fear that has always been my life-long battle.  It is a difficult one to overcome because it can affect you physically as well as mentally.  It has prevented me from doing many things, yet writing and putting my work out there has always remained constant, therefore it is a battle I wish to overcome.

Here are some of the ways I’ve tried to avoid these problems:-

  • No-one is going to see what you’ve written first time around.  Don’t waste time on getting everything perfect straight away – the important thing is just to write it down.
  • Remind yourself that other people have been published.  If they can do it, so can you!
  • If you have been praised for some of your earlier efforts (preferably by strangers), hold on to that praise – use it to keep you motivated.
  • Read about other people’s efforts, whether they be novels, blogs, articles or on social networks.  Every writer had to start somewhere – use their successes to help fuel your inspiration.
  • Find some good writing quotes and keep them where you can see them – keep your thoughts positive.
  • You know as well as I do that there are some books out there that in hindsight could have been a whole lot better.  If these books can get published, so can yours.  You just need to make sure your work is the best it can be.
  • Work on various projects simultaneously – it stops you from going ‘stale’ and keeps you motivated.
  • Read books on writing or self-help books, like The Power of Positive Thinking.
  • Surround yourself with other writers; get some beta readers, an accountability buddy.  Talk about your feelings and your writing.  Other writers have been in the same position – listen to their advice.
  • Above all else – write!  The more you write, the more confident you will become.  The only way to get better at something is to keep practicing.

What are some of the ways in which you overcome your fears?

26 thoughts on “Beginner Writers: Conquer Your Fears.

  1. Hello! I’m stopping by from the campaign. Nice to meet you! 🙂

  2. Hi Debbie – I am a fellow campaigner and new follower. Nice to meet you! I write picture books, mostly, but am trying to break out of my comfort zone and write MG/YA. I know exactly how you feel about struggling with self-confidence. I think it’s an issue many writers face. Writing (or art of any kind) is so personal. When you send it out into the world you do it knowing that at least some people aren’t going to like it (there’s always at least one, isn’t there? :)) and that’s very hard. I think you have to write for your own reasons and do the best job you can and try not to worry too much about what other people think. Of course, for me, the inner critic can be much harder to deal with 🙂

  3. Newest Follower, here, and part of the campaign. Glad to have found you! 🙂

  4. Such great advice! Especially The Power of Positive Thinking – I love it! I’m a fellow campaigner just stopping by to say hi.

  5. Hi Debbie! I’m a fellow Aussie Campaigner, just popping over to say hello. It’s great to meet you, and I love this post.

    “Above all else, write” – exactly, and it’s so easy to get distracted with all the other stuff (*cough* social media) that it’s actually possible to forget this piece of advice!

    1. Debbie Johansson 28/08/2011 — 10:00 am

      Hi Jen. Good to meet you and thanks for stopping by. I put myself down for quite a few groups in the challenge because I think this is a great way to meet other people.

      I know what you mean about getting easily distracted with social media. I’ve now made myself a rule to get my writing done before going on to look at social media and treat it as a reward. I find myself on a bit of a high after achieving my writing accomplishments for the day, that I’m happy to then share it with others.

      I look forward to hear more from you throughout the challenge.

  6. What a great, insightful post! I’m so glad I found you through the campaign! I think the biggest hurdle for overcoming my fears was acceptance: I had to learn to accept that it is okay to write for the love of writing and to not pressure myself to publish and earn money. This has helped me become a better writer I think.

    I’m glad I can connect with you! I am looking to form a short story writer critique group through the campaign if you’re interested!

    1. Debbie Johansson 28/08/2011 — 10:08 am

      Hi Kim. It’s always a pleasure meeting other campaigners. I would have to agree with you about the love of writing; I think that has to come first. I’ve discovered that if I put too much pressure upon myself, I find that the writing becomes forced, and I lose all interest. I need to remember why I became a writer in the first place.

      I would be very much interested in your short story critique group. Thanks for the offer. As I live in a small country town, it can be difficult to find other writers nearby.

      Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you throughout the campaign. 🙂

  7. Great post Debbie. Fear is a tough thing, just when you think you’ve overcome it, it finds a new way to creep back into your life. I think recognizing that fear is the issue is the best way to conquer it.

    I’m a fellow campaigner in the short stories group, stopping by to say hello. I look forward to stopping back.

    1. Debbie Johansson 28/08/2011 — 10:19 am

      Hi Inluvwithwords. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words. You’re right in that the fear is always at the back of my mind, but I’m hoping that by maintaining a positive outlook and being surrounded by those willing to support me, will help overcome those fears.

      I’m looking forward to get to know you throughout the campaign. 🙂

  8. I face fears and challenges too – it’s probably common for all writers, so on the bright side you’re not alone:) For me, after freaking out and I let out all my emotions, I force myself to sit down and do something and before long I’ve forgotten what I was worrying about. Biggest problem for me is getting caught up in reading other writers blogs and their success, and then the downward spiral commences – so I’m currently trying to write before I do my social networking…hehe Oh and i’m a fellow campaigner in the Aussie / NZ group – great to meet you.

    1. Debbie Johansson 28/08/2011 — 10:58 am

      Hi T.F. I find that after I let go of my fears and do it anyway, I tend to wonder what the fuss was all about. Usually, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. It’s good to know I’m not alone! 😉

      Trying to write before social networking is the way to go. I’m currently going onto social networks after I’ve done my writing for the day as my reward. Social networks are distracting, time consuming, but still a whole lota fun!! It’s good to meet you too and I look forward to seeing you around during the campaign. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Debbie Johansson 28/08/2011 — 9:36 am

    Hi Margo. Thanks for stopping by. This is my first time at doing the challenge and looking forward to it. It’s a pleasure meeting you. 🙂

  10. Debbie Johansson 28/08/2011 — 9:42 am

    Hi Susanna. Thanks for visiting. I know what you mean about writing being so personal. Whenever I send something out, I’m very anxious to know what others think. I know not everyone will like it and that can be hard to take. I need to accept that it’s more a case of personal preferences, rather than anything aimed towards me. And yes, that inner critic can be a curse! It’s a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to ‘seeing’ you through the challenge. 😉

  11. Debbie Johansson 28/08/2011 — 9:47 am

    Hi Maeve. Thanks for stopping by. I’m sorry that I’m getting a bit behind in playing catch up with my messages, but I’m loving it just the same! I’m pleased to meet you and look forward to getting to know you throughout the challenge.

  12. Debbie Johansson 28/08/2011 — 9:53 am

    Hi Run Gwen, Run! The power of positive thinking seems to be working for me quite a bit lately. In the mornings before I begin writing, I tell myself ‘I can do this’. This has helped me to write almost 5,000 words on my edits/rewrites for my first novel in just two days. Now, I just hope I can keep this up! 😉

    Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to ‘seeing’ more of you throughout the challenge.

  13. Hello! Fellow campaigner here from the horror group just stopping by, I’m attempting to get round everyone!

    I look forward to getting to know you and your blog better.

    I’m a new follower! 😀

    1. Debbie Johansson 29/08/2011 — 2:13 am

      Hi Jules. I’m glad you could drop by. Like you, I will attempt to get around to everyone. I’ve joined a number of different groups, so I think I’ve got my work cut out for me!

      It’s a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to getting to know you better too. 🙂

  14. Great post! I’m a Campaigner and new follower. I like your list and do all those things also in no particular order lol. Nice to meet you!

    1. Debbie Johansson 29/08/2011 — 2:05 am

      Hi Kerri. I don’t follow the list in any particular order either; the main thing is just to keep on writing.

      Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself. I look forward to ‘seeing’ more of you throughout the campaign.

  15. Hi! I’m a fellow campaigner stopping by to say hi. Fears and insecurity are a curse for writers that’s for sure. The only way to overcome them is to keep on writing. I really enjoyed your blog today. 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 29/08/2011 — 2:08 am

      Hi Julie. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. As you say, the only way to overcome the fear of writing is to just do it anyway. Thanks for stopping by and I’m looking forward to get to know you during the campaign.

  16. Hi Debbie,
    I really like your blog and this post is fantastic! Your suggestions to print out inspiring quotes, celebrate the successes along the way-(big or small) and to try and remain positive is great advice.
    It’s lovely to connect on face book too. All the best with your writing goals and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Renee 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 12/09/2011 — 2:25 am

      Hi Renee. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed my post. In (many) times of doubt, I just have to eat my own words, I guess! 😉 It’s a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to knowing you better.

  17. I actually have a special folder called Positive Feedback, where I log any comments, events, or remarks that I find encouraging.

    1. Debbie Johansson 27/10/2016 — 3:52 am

      That’s a good idea Adam and I hope you keep it nearby when you’re writing. It’s so easy to remember all the negative words rather than the encouraging ones! 😉

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