Many people don’t write because they are afraid.
Even if they do write, they may not write as often as they could… because they are afraid.
They fear that they have nothing to say, that they may not write well, that they may make incorrect arguments, that they may end up sounding stupid, or that their writing may be boring.
I’ve certainly felt all of this before. I have always enjoyed writing. For years, I have toyed with the thought of starting a blog. But, I only started about two years ago. And once I started, I had a hard time writing more than once a week… or even once a month.
It was always these fears.. I don’t want to be wrong, stupid, boring, etc.
If there is one thing I am proud about from the 100-day blogging challenge, it is overcoming these fears. Looking back on it, there were two big things that contributed to getting over these fears.
- Just do it. A very effective way to get over the fear is force yourself to do it. And then continue forcing yourself to doing it. I actually went through the process of writing (and publishing!) each day for 100 days in a row. Yes, the first few days sucked. But surprisingly, it doesn’t take too long to hit a rhythm. If you aspire to write more, find a way to force yourself to write every day. You don’t have to publish, but I would suggest it because it forces you to do the next part.
- Make your fears come true. Writing high quality stuff is really hard. If you publish often enough, you will quickly reach a point where you fears come true. It is pretty easy to quickly publish something wrong, stupid, or boring. It didn’t take me long to look back at my previous posts, and find some that I just didn’t like very much. But you know what? It doesn’t really matter. That is the funny thing about making your fears come true: you find out that most of the time, the outcome isn’t that bad.
There is one more thought that has made writing considerably easier, and it is this.
Writing is simply a form of expression. And at its best, it shares the human condition. If we want our writing to be expressive and honest, perhaps it is good for it to represent all of our human experience. It can represent our awesome, profound, and insightful sides, and it can also represent those parts of us that aren’t as sexy: being wrong, stupid, boring, etc.
Now isn’t that a freeing thought?
I sure thing so. It makes writing a hell of a lot easier for me now.
(image credit: flickr/HeatherHeatherHeather)