Three Things That Stop You From Hitting The “Publish” Button On Your Writing

I joined Medium about two weeks ago. For my first post, I wanted it to be big and make an impact, so I decided to write about my inspiration, Ronda Rousey. (Don’t know who that is? Google her. She’s awesome.)

It took me one day to write the post, and then two weeks to edit it, butcher it all up and eventually delete it.

Why did I delete it? Because something crazy happens when it’s time for me to hit the publish button on my writing. Panic sets in and I begin to second guess everything I just wrote.

Over the last three years that I’ve been writing and blogging, I have probably deleted more posts that I’ve actually shared because I was so afraid to hit that publish button!

So, what is it about the “Publish” button that has me running scared every time? I’ll tell you.

First, there’s the fear of people hating my work.

What if I hit the publish button, and people read my work and then decide that it’s not any good? Or worse, what if they decide that they’ll never want to read anything by me ever again because my writing was that horrible?

Then, there’s the fear that people will love my work.

If it turns out that people actually like and enjoy my writing, then I fear that I’ll feel pressure to “keep up the good work.” That I’ll have to keep producing work that people will love so that I can maintain their favor, and I don’t know if I can handle all of that pressure.

Finally, there’s the fear that people won’t think anything of my work at all.

When you pour even the tiniest bit of your heart and soul into something, it’s quite a bummer to share it with the world only to hear crickets in response. Positive feedback is great, negative feedback is not so great, but no feedback at all is the worst.

Those three things held me back from writing that post about Ronda Rousey, and it’s those three things that are currently holding me back from publishing this very post (as of now, I’ve read through this post about fifteen times and put off hitting the publish button for about six days).

I finally asked myself one morning, What can I do to overcome this fear?

The one answer that promptly came to mind is to start with action. Quick action.

When I move too slow with my writing (as I usually do because I don’t have a good writing routine), it leaves room for fear to step in and take over. I need to create a plan for my writing, editing and publishing processes and then be quick and diligent about putting that plan into action.

What I also need to do is make friends with the publish button. I need to hold it, kiss it, love it and squeeze it because if I’m going to be a writer, then I have to be able to hit that publish button on my writing, whether I’m scared or not.

Fear lives in all of us, for better or worse. There’s no escaping fear, but you can embrace it, or “lean into it” as they say.

Ronda Rousey said it best with this quote: “People say to me all the time, ‘You have no fear.’ I tell them, ‘No that’s not true. I’m scared all the time. You have to have fear in order to have courage. I’m a courageous person because I’m a scared person.’”


I told y’all she was awesome.