Those two syllables are responsible for fear, terror, and many sleepless nights throughout every generation of students. Whether you were in a 4th grade literature class, a 12th grade English class, or a college level writing class, you may have been one of those souls who had an allergic reaction to that word. Upon hearing the sound W-R-I-T-I-N-G, it would trigger spaced-out syndrome, fidget-in-your-seat condition, or nervous-ball-of-concern disorder.
Maybe you still have these reactions in your 30s, 40s, or beyond.
What’s fascinating is that a whopping 80% of Americans want to write a book.
Why then is writing so terrifying? Here are 2 common reasons.
Fear of Failure
Oh yes. The Mother of all fears lives next door to all would-be-writers. “I don’t have the right skills in order to make it so that I write well (awkward sentence).” “I can’t spell that goode (no ‘e’ at the end).” “I won’t finish what I…(you left that blank).” All joking aside, the fear of failure is UNIVERSAL in its tendency to pop up anytime we attempt to do something for the first time. And so, something this universal, this diabolical, this much of a dream-killer DOESN’T DESERVE anymore of your time or attention!
Will you ever feel uncomfortable? Yes! Will you misspell words? Yes! Will you be the first person in the history of writing books to not need to edit what you write? No! You will always have to revise – but you NEVER have to let the fear of failure dictate what you do with your desire to succeed.
Fear of the Unknown
Similar to any entrepreneurial endeavor, writing a book can often feel like driving in a snowstorm – you can only see a few feet in front of you at all times. You often wonder, “Am I really making any progress?” And, “By the time I finish, will I have gotten anywhere?” And lastly, “Will anyone really want to read what I have written?” While these questions are legitimate, you must not allow them to influence you off of the writing road.
If you know that some uncertainty lies ahead, it is best to make a SMART PLAN before you set out on the journey!
*Writing Tips: THREE THINGS are essential parts to the creation of a book.
- THE PERSON (that would be YOU). You are required to show up every day. And when you show up to write, you need to block off time to write. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes, and for only 2 sentences. You want to treat your writing project as though you were writing for your profession – like the food on your table depended upon your effort in writing this book. Why is this important? Like in all entrepreneurial endeavors, writing a book is YOUR project, and depends upon YOUR consistency. You will learn a lot about yourself in this process – especially that you have far more creativity and endurance in you than you previously thought.
- THE PLAN (a mind-map of the different parts to your book). This visual map will help keep your internal compass pointed in the right direction. Knowing the overall layout of your book will keep you focused. And, when you inevitably trip the “limited visibility” sensor, you will have a road-map to refer back to. Knowing the length of your chapters, the outline of your content, and the approximate time it will take to complete each chapter, will go A LONG WAY toward moving you into the publisher’s office.
- THE PURPOSE (why you are writing the book). The “perfect” book is like the “perfect” relationship – it’s a myth and a misnomer. Your goal should not be to write the “perfect” book, but to write a PURPOSEFUL book. And there is nothing more purposeful than writing something that YOU believe in.
Having these three things in place before you set out to write will CALM YOUR NERVES and give you INSTANT COURAGE like the proverbial shot of liquor at the awkward party.
**If you’re serious about writing a work of non-fiction, and would like more information about my Coaching Services for writers, check out Wanderwowl. We are a multi-dimensional business that provide you with coaching, editing, and book design, along with writing blogs, tips, and tools.**