If you want to write your life story, your memoirs, your family history (or whatever genre you specialise in) but have never had the courage to get started, why not make this the year you get over your fear of writing and actually do it.
You may have an ongoing list of things you want or ought to do such as get more exercise, visit new places, learn to bake like Mary Berry, read more books, spend less time using social media and more time with the family, do a bungee jump etc. etc.. Whether you achieve these or not, why not make room for just one more. Add start writing that book to your list and get over your fear of writing.
Overcoming your fear of writing is one thing you can achieve
As we all know having a list of things you want to do doesn’t guarantee that you will do some or even any of them, so here are some tips on how you can get over your fear of writing to ensure that this is one thing on your list that you will actually fulfil.
“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” Stephen King On Writing: A memoir of the Craft
Don’t compare yourself to other writers
…particularly successful published writers. Even they had to start somewhere. Until you try you will never know whether you too can become a successful and accomplished writer. And if you don’t, so what! If writing gives you pleasure go for it and don’t worry that you probably won’t make it on to the best-seller list. Most of us don’t but that doesn’t stop us writing. There will be somebody out there who will enjoy and appreciate what you have written and if you don’t write your stories who will?
Talk to other writers
If you know another writer then their help and advice will be invaluable. Alternatively find a local writing group or join one of the Beginners Guide to Writing forums. Even friends or family members who are inexperienced or non writers can tell you whether they understand what you have written or whether they are confused by anything. They will also be able to tell whether your writing holds their interest (i.e. it isn’t boring).
Nobody will want to read what I write
Until you write something you won’t know whether anybody will want to read it so don’t use this as an excuse to justify your fear of writing.
I am not an experienced writer
You will never become an experienced writer unless you try. And don’t worry if your grammar and spelling aren’t up to scratch – these are things that can be put right very easily. The most important thing is to get scribbling.
I don’t know what to write about
You may think you don’t know what to write about but the fact that you are still reading this blog suggests you do. Once you overcome your fear of writing you will probably have more difficulty deciding what not to write about.
I don’t have time to write
The classic excuse of not having time is one of the least convincing reasons for not writing (or doing anything else for that matter). If you really want to write you will find the time. It doesn’t matter how packed your day is there will be some times of the day when you could be more productive – for example, how much time do you spend watching TV, trawling the internet, catching up on social media? Or why not try getting up 15 or 30 minutes earlier before anyone else is around. If you are not a morning person look for another time in the day when you could squeeze in some writing – on the bus or train, during a lunch break, late at night when everyone else has gone to bed.
To conclude, here is another quote from Stephen Kings’ book On Writing: A memoir of the Craft
“If you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.”
Forget the fear, stop making excuses and get scribbling.