I spent an entire day dodging the rewrites of my novel, Hidden Illusions. I poked around social media. I escaped on errands. I stared at the computer screen willing the words to come, but nothing happened. Not because I was suffering from writer’s block. I knew I needed to make drastic changes and I wasn’t sure if I could do it.
What stopped me from writing wasn’t writer’s block—it was fear
Fear that I wouldn’t make the right changes or I wouldn’t be able to translate what was in my head to paper or that I was a terrible writer who should just give up writing now rather than ever think about publishing again.
*big gasping breath*
Fear isn’t rational, but it is quite real. It’s what stops people from writing or editing or publishing because it sells you lies that are easier to believe than work through.
It took me three days to work through my fear and complete the chapter
THREE ENTIRE DAYS. One chapter of edits. When I was managing one chapter per day with others.
But I pushed through. I came out on the other side with a new lesson: nothing and no one can pull you out of your fear but you.
It’s not writing mantras or inspirational quotes or cheerleaders or writing craft articles that ultimately help you combat your fear. It’s you. You have to dig deep and identify the fear that’s holding you back (because it comes in many forms), then you have to find ways to crush it.
Choose to stop believing the lies your fears tell you
Fear tests your mettle. It tests how strong you are and how hard you’re willing to work for what you want.
“I don’t know what to write next” is fear telling you that you can’t write something unless you know it’s going to be right and good and amazing. “I don’t have any ideas” is fear telling you that all yours ideas are mundane and garbage.
You can choose to believe you really don’t know what to write… or you can choose to believe that writing something is better than writing nothing and that anything can be fixed. Fear doesn’t want you to take risks, and that’s what writing is: taking risks.
You guys, it’s not easy. It took me an entire day to even realize that fear was my problem, then two more days to crush it. I battled with my fears and insecurities constantly, with every word I wrote and every change I made. I won’t let fear win, and you shouldn’t either.