Don’t Fear What you Write, Fear What you Don’t Write.
I’m sure most of us have been afraid to write down our thoughts.
I often find myself motivated to write; throughout the day, I will mull over ideas, pictures to add, where I will write, maybe today will be the bathtub with a cold IPA? Or I could take a walk to the park and nestle on a bench. (Except now, thanks to the coronavirus ill stick to writing inside.) Writers have this burning passion to write everything and anything. So where does this fear of writing come from? And how can we change it?
“The wanting to write is there, but it’s overpowered by the need to self-doubt.”
Reasons for writers fear and writer’s block
My nemesis is the fear of writing my message, while I am mindful that I could use much more time practicing the usage of punctuation and grammar, among many other shortcomings, I am deathly afraid of someone reading my blogs and saying something mean, or saying nothing at all. My blogs are my personal stories of severe abuse and neglect from my childhood.
My message is to connect and help others suffering from PTSD or depression eventually. With the end goal being a series for young adults on how to cope and heal from abuse.
Writer’s block, in my case, comes from that fear; even while I am typing this, I delay and erase, questioning if that comma is in the right place and closing my laptop to pet my cat and watch some Netflix. I fear my words being unheard or just not good enough.
Aside from being scared of failure or just scared of saying your piece to the world — what other reasons do we have for deterring ourselves when it comes to writing?
Stress could be the #1 cause of writer’s block. When we are overcome with thoughts and ideas of how we are supposed to be, what we are supposed to be doing, and why we aren’t millionaires by now — we tend to self-test and feel inadequate. Even normal pressures can hinder us.
I forgot to do laundry! Darn, I need to meal-prep and wash the dog, I can’t believe I forgot to shower!
I believe if we take a step back and organize our lives and establish a time each day for writing, everything else will fall in place. For example, I set the alarm each day for 1:00 pm, even if I don’t start writing – I know that I need to desensitize from other activities and get into my creative shoes.
”It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” — Bruce Lee
Depression is a huge reason we dip our toes into the procrastination pond. Hell, I’ll even go underwater and hold my breath like it’s a public pool in the 90s — we come up eventually to splash a few friends and interact with the world, then back under we go! When you are severely depressed, you don’t really have the desire to do anything. You just do the bare minimum to survive.
The wanting to write is there, but the need for self-doubt overpowers it. I’m not a doctor. However, I have struggled with crippling depression my entire life – here are some simple things you can do to help manage.
1. limit your screen time. Put aside a few hours a day for TV and social media. Try to avoid screen time before bed.
2. self-care (bath, nap in the sun, an extra scoop of ice-cream!) You NEED to take care of yourself. You are not a machine. Breath.
3. Ask yourself, “Will this matter to me a week from now?” If you just broke your favorite chair, sure that sucks but if a week from now it won’t affect you, try and let it go.
4. Start a healthy diet! when you don’t eat right you become tired and weak. Does not mix well with depression. Water, healthy foods, exercise. Take care of your body, and your body will take care of you.
5. Talk or write about it. Get it out! Even if you don’t blog about it; get a diary or talk to a friend. Don’t ever feel alone.
Medium is what enabled me to voice my traumatic stories, and I’ve been able to fight my depression.
So, we all have a junk drawer, right? How about a junk-mind? Do you cram your brain with as much media as possible daily? I have many times. If you stuff a refrigerator full of food and it’s blocking the vents, it’s not going to run well, much like if you stuff your mind full of crap — good luck getting that baby up and running when you want to focus on a single task, like writing.
Now, I should take my advice on this part, but outlining your work is a must! Even if its chicken scratches — having an outline creates a simple platform to work off of. When you have an outline or anything that will organize what you want to convey on paper, it gives you a much clearer path to your creativity.
A sound system shortens the road to the goal. -Orison Swett Marden
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Don’t focus too much, on too much
When you are so high-strung on getting it done, you tend to lose the want to write, and it slowly becomes a need to write. Step back, take a breath, and remember you write because you’re a writer; it’s your passion, not something that needs to happen. Laundry needs to happen; eating needs to happen – writing is like magic; it just happens.