Coping with Writing Anxiety

By on November 30, 2010

Coping with Writing AnxietyLet’s face it: There aren’t a whole lot of things as intimidating as a blindingly white blank page can be. Whether it’s a blank monitor or an empty piece of paper lying on your desk, it makes no difference. No matter what it takes, you’ve got to somehow muster up the gumption to get some writing done.  But how do you move past the anxiety you’ve built up within yourself and put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard?  Below are some tips to help you get over any writing anxiety that you’re feeling and get you cranking out great content in no time!

Appreciate your unique view on things

Nobody sees life and the things in it the exact same way that you do, nor can anyone express it in the exact same way that you do.  Old stories are told and then retold countless times. Not because the original story needed work, so it’s been improved upon; because with each new version, the story will differ in some ways. Each storyteller has experiences and thoughts all their own, and it is these experiences and thoughts that we draw from when we tell a story.

Our influences shape our thoughts and who we are

We borrow our creativity from others. None of us formed our thoughts out of the blue and without any outside influence at all. We’ve all been subjected to a bunch of different role models throughout our lives. Why bother trying to copy a hero when all we’ve got to do is reach out our hand and allow them to guide us?

Have faith!

It sounds simplistic and maybe even silly, but have faith in you! You are capable of far more than you even realize, so stop letting fear get in the way.  If you don’t believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities, then why would anyone else?

Write for a particular person

Write as though you’re speaking to someone – only one set of eyes.  It doesn’t even matter who it is you choose.  Simply write as though you’re having a conversation with them. Joke around as if they’re reading it and your jokes are making them laugh and smile.

Keep going and edit later

The important thing is that you are writing. Don’t allow your thoughts to drift and start to think the worst.  All that will result in is you slowing down, or worse – stopping. Push through the feelings of anxiety, insecurity, and doubt and keep going.  Once you’ve drained yourself of everything you needed to get out, return later to reread what you’ve written.  This will give you a chance to edit what wrote with a clear mind, and who knows – you might even be surprised with the quality of what you wrote!

Not even Mother Teresa was perfect

Nobody gets everything perfect on the first time. The important thing is that you start. Nobody is watching you, so it makes no difference if you screw up.  Close the door, take a deep breath in silence, and allow what is deep inside of you to finally come out.  Even if you end up hating what you write, at least you wrote something.  And it’s a lot easier to edit, tweak, and perfect once you’ve got something to work with.  Just keep trying until you get it to a point where you can be happy with what you’ve written.

Rules were meant to be broken

Why subject yourself to a set of rules? Rules can intimidate you, and all intimidation is good for is creating a shortcut to anxiety.  So what if you don’t know when to use a comma or when not to use an apostrophe?  That tiny little mistake can never come close to equaling the importance of a good idea! Get your ideas out there, regardless of whether they are grammatically perfect or not.

Baby steps

The very first keystroke is always the most difficult to make. Whether you think your idea is a good one or not, push yourself past your fears and get to writing.  You may even benefit from your uncertainty. Sounds odd, but think about it – we are most likely to find ourselves when we’re outside of our comfort zone.  Step outside of yours and allow that first keystroke to happen!

What great tips do you have for dealing with writing anxiety?  Share with the community in the comments section below!

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Adam Toren

About Adam Toren

Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.