Do It Now Part 5: Overcoming Writing Anxiety
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- How to identify where your writing anxiety is coming from
- Questions to ask yourself to build self-awareness
- How to create a plan of action to overcome your fear
- Where to find a supportive community to walk alongside you, so you can share your work in a safe, constructive environment
Do any of these stories resonate with you?
Jane had written dozens of stories and poems, but she never felt ready to share them with anyone else. It wasn't that she lacked confidence in her work — she just couldn't bring herself to take the risk of someone critiquing something she had worked so hard on. So she kept everything locked away safely on her computer.
Alfred spent countless nights hunched over his laptop, crafting stories that were full of passion and emotion. But when it came time to put those stories out there for others to read, that's where Alfred always drew the line. His fear was so great that he avoided entering writing contests or submitting any of his pieces anywhere else. Instead, they remained tucked away in drawers around the house.
Lily had been writing stories since she was a little girl. It became her solace and her safe place when the big bad world outside got too overwhelming. But, as much as Lily loved to write, she never wanted anyone to actually read her stories. She felt that if people read them, they would judge her and her work. So instead of sharing them with the world like other writers did, she kept all her stories locked away in an old shoe box underneath her bed.
If you've ever hesitated to share your writing with others, you are not alone. The fear of exposing their work and being judged on it prevents many aspiring authors from taking that first step towards getting published. But it doesn't have to! With a few simple steps and some self-awareness, you can overcome this fear and become the writer that you were meant to be.
Here are three steps to move past your writing anxiety and fear and share your writing with the world.
1. Understand the Source
Scripture tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). That means when fear comes, it's not of God. Of course, as humans, we’re all going to feel fear at times — that’s just part of the human condition. But the important thing is not to allow fear to stop you from doing what God has called you to do.
So when you feel fear, understand that it’s not of God, but is coming from somewhere inside of you. There’s a part of you that is second-guessing your call, and it could be rooted in one or more of several factors, like:
- Perfectionism: you might be afraid of not getting it right.
- Concern about negative feedback: maybe, deep down, you're a little bit of a people pleaser and you’re afraid of not meeting others’ expectations.
- Lack of confidence: perhaps you’re not fully embracing who God says you are.
- Questions: When you fear the unknown, you may stop yourself from moving forward, because you don’t know what it’s going to be like when you put your work out there.
Whatever the case may be, it's important to identify which factors are causing your writing anxiety. Because, as Dr. Phil says, “You can't change what you don't acknowledge.” You’ve got to figure out what's causing your fear so you can find a way to address it head on.
2. Develop Self-Awareness
The next step to overcome your writing anxiety is to really get in tune with yourself, which admittedly can be a bit of a challenge in today's world. We've got so many things that easily distract us — Netflix, social media, text messages, phone calls — and keep us from being fully present.
But it’s important to really get to the root of what is causing your writing anxiety, and you can only do that through self-awareness. In other words, being really in touch with thoughts and feelings. So start asking yourself some questions:
- What am I most afraid will happen if I share my writing?
- Is it really as bad as I’m making it out to be in my head? (Remember, fear is often False Expectations Appearing Real, and the things you imagine will never happen! And even if they do, you will survive.)
- What would it take for me to be more secure in moving forward? Is it remembering who I am in Christ, and that He's called me to this work and I’m not alone in my writing journey?
These types of questions will help you get better acquainted with where your writing anxiety stems from and how you can work through the fear.
3. Create a Plan of Action
It's not enough just to think about these things — or even just to pray about them. You need to take action. Yes, part of that action is praying and asking God for guidance, but don’t stop there. You also need to think practically about how you can address your writing anxiety and fear.
For example, if you're concerned about negative feedback, why not ask a trusted friend or mentor to review your writing and give you honest, constructive feedback before you put your writing out to someone you don't know?
Or if lack of confidence is holding you back, try exploring ways to help build your confidence as an author, like taking an online course to work on your skills or joining a writers’ group to help you feel empowered to share your work with others.
Don’t Let Writing Anxiety Hold You Back
No matter what is causing your writing anxiety and fear of sharing your work, it doesn’t have to control you any longer! You can draw a line in the sand right now. Just by taking the steps of getting to the root of your fear, developing self-awareness, and creating a plan of action, you can become that confident author who isn't afraid to put their work out there in the world for everyone to see and enjoy. Because, ultimately, your story is worth reading.
If you’re an aspiring Christian writer looking for the courage to share your work, you’re not alone. In the Christian Authors Network, we understand what it's like to have a burning desire to impact the world with your writing and, at the same time, be afraid to put yourself out there. So we’re here to encourage and inspire you.
In the Christian Authors Network Facebook group, you’ll find motivation, tips, resources, and opportunities to get feedback and share your creative ideas all in one place. When you join this group of peers who understand what it really means to be a Christian author, you'll be able to connect with like-minded people around the globe who can support you every step of the way while you achieve your goal of getting published.
My name is Tamara "Coach Tam" Jackson and I am a published author, Facebook© Certified Digital Marketer, host of the Top 100 Publishing Secrets podcast, and founder of The Christian Authors Network (C.A.N.) Facebook© community. I specialize in helping mission-driven authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs increase their exposure, impact, and income through strategic self-publishing and digital media appearances. Just say yes and we will work together to attract a tribe of loyal followers that 1) "get you", 2) love what you do, and 3) are happy to invest in your book, business, cause, or movement. Plus, we will accomplish all of this without fake, salesy, sleazy, or manipulative tactics. Yes you CAN write, publish, and profit in a way that honors God; join the community today at https://christianauthors.net/fbgroup.
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