As a novelist, do you ever feel anxiety or fear when you think about writing a book? Even procrastination and writer’s block can be brought on by deep-seated fears. Here are three ways to kick fear to the curb, and get those words onto paper.
1. Know you aren’t perfect. And neither is anyone else. Everyone has their unique gifts: for some, it’s storytelling, for others, it’s realistic characters. Still other writers are good with grammar. Then, of course, all writers are at different stages of their writing journeys. From beginners who have never written a single chapter, to experienced authors with several books published, everyone is on equal footing because each has nurtured—or is willing to nurture—his or her own unique talents. Here’s something to remember: even the big-name authors—the household names—also have editors who slice and dice and rewrite their manuscripts to make sure their books shine. No one’s perfect.
2. Remember what you stand to gain. I know that you know that your novel is going to be a hit. And what’s better than knowing that readers are out there enjoying your work, eagerly awaiting your next book? Remember that nothing great was ever achieved without risk, and even though writing and publishing a novel is not an easy feat, what you produce in the end will stand as a monument to your hard work, courage, and willingness to wade into the scary waters of putting your stories in the public eye. You’ve got this.
3. Take the Challenge. In other words, just do it. Diving right in and writing as much as you can is a great way to plow through your fears and hesitations. That’s where the 10K Novel Writing Challenge comes in. During the month of October, you’ll write 10,000 words, get feedback from fellow writers, and possibly (probably?) even win an award for your work-in-progress. Keep in mind that constructive criticism while you write is amazingly effective, and can help you fine-tune your novel so that you know readers are enjoying it—even before it’s published.
Please pass these tips on to writer friends who may need a nudge. And I hope to see you in the 10K Challenge next month!