Sunday, June 10, 2012

How to Face Your Writing Fears

Fear has a way to kill a writer.  It can be a slow and tortuous process, just like a terminal illness.  It's first symptoms are mild.  Maybe a close friend criticizes your manuscript.  Those standard rejection letters bring the illness to stage II.  Then you attend your first writer's conference and you get that sick feeling in your stomach because you feel like you don't belong.

The first day I started my personal blog, I felt to sensations inside.  The first was this overwhelming desire to write.  The second was a fear that my writing would be considered sub-par.  I couldn't even count on my own mother to read my stories because she treats the Internet like your least favorite vegetable -- something to be avoided at all costs.  I remember making the blog name obscure so only a few friends would read it.  Then something happened.  Readers started sending me emails encouraging me to keep writing.  Others commented publicly.  My fears were cured.

Would you like to find a remedy for your writing fears?  Try this:

  1. Accept rejection as part of your world.  Even the best sellers face rejection.  This is normal.  If you aren't getting rejected, you're not writing.  That's worse than rejection because you aren't even trying.
  2. If you can't think of anything to write about, try writing about fear.  Every writer suffers from fear.  Your story will touch the heart of every writer around the world.  Other writers will relate to you.  You will make friends.  Your twitter account will explode.  By the way, my twitter handle is @socalmulligan.  Don't be afraid to ask me to be your Twitter friend.  Just ask.  Give me twenty-four hours to respond and I will say yes.
  3. Write.  That's right.  Write.  The best way to face your fears about writing is to write.  The more you write, the more the white blood cells will activate.  They will destroy every writing fear floating around inside you.
  4. Publish.  I know, I know. You read #3 and thought writing would be the extent of today's message.  Sorry.  I want you to go into the deep end.  Writing is dog paddling.  Publishing is the real deal.  I don't care how many rejection letters it takes.  You need to publish.  Self-publishing is becoming mainstream.  Stop making excuses.  Publish.  Make a plan, face your fears...and publish.
  5. Join the Cyber-bistro.  I created this blog for writers.  Many follow me privately.  Let the world know you are not afraid to admit you are a writer.  I encourage you to put a guest post together and publish it here on cyber-guest Friday.  The writers who follow this blog are encouraging people.  Some of them have connections to traditional publishers.  Who knows?  Maybe your guest post will open a door for you hit it big.
I made a personal decision to live my life without fear.  You can do the same thing.  Start today.  Leave a comment below and tell the world you are ready to face your writing fears.  Congratulations!  You just took the first step.

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