As She Writes

This is How I Beat the Fear of Writing a Flop

Your story is only a failure if you don’t write it.

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Photo by Melnychuk Nataliya on Unsplash

I put off my writing because the thought of failure consumed me. I went to bed every night thinking that the following day I’d miraculously wake up to a better lifestyle and an inspired mind ready to pour my heart into my writing.

It took two weeks of hoping things would work themselves out to understand how much time I’ve been wasting. I quickly learned to accept the idea that failure is part of the game, and the less time I spent worrying about it, the more I’d be able to write.

I was tired of being scared to try and having no plan to tackle these goals of mine in real-time. The days passed me by, and my laptop collected dust on my desk, harboring one too many saved blank documents.

So, what did I do? I shut out all thoughts about what could happen if I started writing the way I wanted to, and I did the damn thing. The change happened so fast I didn’t even realize it until I was pages into my story, writing content that felt good, and I really believed I cracked the code or broke the never-ending cycle.

I asked myself, “did I finally make it out of the self-doubt and worry that I’ll never progress?”

Yes, I did, and here’s how.

Do you even want to write?

I asked myself this question when nothing was getting done, and the answer was always yes. I put up walls around my creativity so I couldn’t access to, and I blamed everything other than myself.

I got myself out of the rut when I realized that the stories I work on don’t have to be a smash hit to be a success to me. Every time I wrote something meaningful, I realized that every ounce of effort was a win.

The next time you feel like you’re stuck or that you’re caught up in fear of not wanting to fail, remember that even the greats have written flops. We all do, but when we get up to try again, challenge ourselves to try something different, that’s when we’re making genuine progress.

Write past the failures and flops, and you’ll strike gold

I was stuck in a hindering pattern of having a single day of good writing a week and six others where I wallowed in the fact that I sucked. I picked my pieces apart, and yes, some of them sucked, but some of them didn’t.

I got serious about my writing goals. I knew I wanted to self-publish, but I was so scared of what would happen once the book went live that I didn’t even write it. When I finally began the draft, it felt like I’d started the mountain climb of a lifetime, but it felt incredible.

I sucked it up and started. I outlined a proper schedule to make room between my articles, blog posts, and freelance work. I got over the fear by picking up the pen, pulling out the keyboard even when it filled me with so much dread I wanted to chuck them across the room.

Tap into your ideal writing scenario

We all have this perfect idea of what writing should look like, and yet we’re typing away at our phone screens, trying to work on our stories in between meetings and other work obligations. I tapped into my ideal writing scenario one Sunday that I set aside working on my book, and it made everything better.

I sat there with my gingerbread candle lit, an ambient video playing on my television, and my laptop sitting on the blanket over my legs while I sipped on a cup of tea. I relished in the process, even though I knew it wasn’t going to be an everyday occurrence, but it filled me with so much joy I genuinely forgot about my fears for a little while.

It helped me get out of routine and remember what it’s like to lose myself in the story. Since then, I’ve been much more motivated to put the work in because I know that the progress will be worth it even if the story does end up being a flop.

Failure is part of the process. Accepting it has helped me become a better writer who’s willing to learn more, grow, and write even when it feels like the biggest hurdle to overcome.

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