I’ve been putting off writing a blog post—any blog post—for far too long, and I finally decided to just address the problem head on and write about why I’m not writing (this is a tip I often give to clients when they get stuck, too).
What’s stopping me from writing?
Fear that it won’t be good enough.
Fear that it won’t resonate with people.
Fear that no one will read it.
Fear that I won’t know what to say.
And here’s the amazing thing: once I just sit down and start writing, the words flow. I didn’t even know what I was going to say until I started saying it. I didn’t know I was going to chalk it all up to fear, but you know what? I think that’s spot on.
And there is no point sitting here and wondering whether any of the above things might be true, no point in worrying about things that might never come to pass.
Instead, I’ll focus on asking myself, What can I do to make the best effort I can, to make it good enough (and even great)?
I can speak from my heart. I can trust that my words will resonate with people. I can write and write and write—and then, only then, once all the words are down, once the ideas have gone from my head onto paper (or screen), can I edit.
If you listen to the fear, you’ll edit while you write. You’ll judge your words, your message, and your grammar before you’ve even given yourself a chance to fully express yourself.
You cannot fully express yourself when you’re editing yourself. You’ll be holding yourself back. Trying to fit a certain mold or follow certain rules.
Let it all hang out. See what happens. That’s where the creative energy is, and when it starts to flow—like it is for me right now—you stop worrying about whether it’s good enough.
You get in touch with what you really have to say, what you really have inside you yearning to get out, and you just go.
Close your eyes and type while you can’t see the screen. Forbid yourself to erase or cross anything out in your notebook. Use a program like Write or Die to make a game out of writing without stopping or correcting anything.
You might just discover that writing is fun.
You can worry about the editing later. (Of course, even better, hire an editor to help!)
All you have to do is start. Sit down and start and see where it takes you.
You might be surprised by what comes out when you least expect it. And the more you write, the more confidence you’ll have. The more feedback you get from others, the more you’ll understand how to make an impact with the next thing you write.
And if something falls flat? You can handle it. Learn from it and do something different next time. Just start.