Getting past the anxiety of writing.
Writing awakens your insecurities.
is a solitary activity. Other people aren’t going to constantly
validate or demean your writing. People need that to stay in the game.
It’s like how you imagine seeing shapes or colors with your eyes closed.
There’s nothing there, but something appears. That apparition is from
the lack of sensory perception. There’s nothing to see except
Getting feedback from another person or even yourself helps.
Reading over what you’ve written opens your eyes to what’s really there.
In a vacuum of perception, your fears, anxieties and insecurities take over.
1. Before sitting down to write.
Follow your routine.
2. In the process of writing.
Read something you’ve written before that you know is good. Truth scares away anxiety.
3. After you’re done writing.
Ask someone you trust to read it and give you feedback. Don’t be blind to your successes or your improvement.
Perfection doesn’t exist.
Too scared to try or too scared to move on to something else that could work better.
The goal here is improvement.
Improving is growth. That’s all you want.
Unattainable goals like perfection sap away your motivation.
No matter how hard I try, my goal doesn’t get closer, so why should I even try.
Something achievable keeps you coming back each day.
Coming back day after day and putting in the work separates a great writer from a writer lost in the crowd.
Figure out your writing process. Don’t follow one blindly.
There are methods or a “process” that a writer uses.
be questioned about process if you ever get anything published in any
meaningful way. But process can’t be transplanted from writer to writer.
It’s something you have to discover for yourself.
Ray Bradbury wrote about his process.¹
- Make lists of what he’s thinking, short one to two word phrases.
- Find something that has a story behind it and write a lyric poem.
- Keep going as lyric poem turns into prose.
Following that process doesn’t work for me.
- I can’t write poetry.
- I can’t keep lists, because I barely have enough time to write as is.
My method is wildly different.
- Meditate daily.
- Come up with ideas when inspiration strikes or meditation leads me there.
- Run through everything I plan to write again in a meditative state.
- Sit down and type very slowly. That’s as fast as I can type.
That process isn’t going to work if your lived experience is different than mine.
Writing is an individualized act.
The product is generally recognized, but there are umpteenth ways to arrive there.
You’ll have varying success with everything you try.
It speaks to how difficult writing is.
You need to discover the process that best suits you.
It’ll be a mixed bag of the processes out there that no other writer uses to the letter.
Things like this are best figured out when you try things, everything you can find within reason until something gets you writing to the best of your ability.
It’ll be something close to who you are deep inside your soul.
Maybe you’re from the meditation camp or the poetry camp.
Whatever works is your process.
- Bradbury, Ray. Zen in The Art of Writing (p. 11-12). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.