Your Writer’s Block is Fear

Posted December 4, 2014 by Amanda Shofner in Writing / 4 Comments

Your writer's block is fear

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.

Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “Your Writer’s Block is Fear

  1. *Slow clap.* Yes, yes, yes. You know I was the only person in my creative writing capstone who didn’t invite my parents to the reading because I was afraid they wouldn’t like what I’d written? Agh! Fear is such a bastard.

    Thanks for the reminder that all those insecurities are lies!

    P.S. The rebrand looks amazing. 🙂

    • I probably wouldn’t have invited my parents either, in that situation. I still remember the fear following my mom’s “I’ve already read your book” announcement. o.O

      And thanks! 🙂

  2. Monica

    Thanks for your post on fear. I thought I was the only one. Your examples of how you postpone getting down to writing/editing fit me to a tea. Some days seem to be worse than others. Today is a prime example! Other than journaling a little, I have puttered away a good part of the day. The worst part is that I justify my actions by telling myself that the things I am doing have to get done. Like the dust in the spare bedroom matters to anyone but me!!

    • You’re not alone, Monica! Sometimes it’s not bad to take a break from writing or editing — but it’s good to recognize when you’re procrastinating because of fear or because you really need a break. 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.