Pushing through whatever life throws at us to write is probably the biggest challenge writers face in these days of uncertainty. Is the underlying stress of the whole pandemic situation is messing with your focus? We are grieving the way life used to be, and we are feeling trepidation over all the unknowns. But let’s put all that aside for a moment and talk about another fear authors face.
It’s a different kind of fear. One every author faces when they start that next book.
Can I do this all over again? What if I’ve forgotten how to do this? What if this book isn’t as good as the last one? Maybe I’ve lost my touch. And do I really want to go through the pain and struggle I went through to birth the last book into the world?
Here are the 5 things you can do to overcome this particular fear of writing again.
- Have that meltdown.
That done, reach out to writing friends and colleagues for support. It’s okay to feel these things as deeply as we do. When one cares about the story and the characters, then one is deeply afraid of letting readers and characters alike down. But stuffing these feelings away and ignoring them, or procrastinating to distract yourself can only be done for so long before the feelings of frustration build and bubbles to the surface. With the meltdown behind you, you can rest assured that you’ve turned the corner toward recovery.
- Name the Fear.
Once you have identified what’s holding you back, you can acknowledge it. One thing to note is that this fear is a common one, and it’s just part of the territory in this business. When you don’t feel like you can, you have to trust the process. You’ve done it before, and you can, you CAN do it again.
- Make a plan.
Now you know what you are dealing with, put a plan in place to overcome, such as deadlines, writing sprints and short bursts of brainstorming. Do whatever works for you. Whether you write 5 new sentences or 5 pages, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s progress. Sit down and do the thing you’ve got do.
- Measure Your Progress.
Enlist the help of your fellow writers to keep you accountable, whether it’s your critique partner or writers group, or a friend or editor. Set a goal and report back on your progress. Soon you’ll be motivated once you can see yourself moving forward. This momentum brings me to tip #5.
- Ride the wave of momentum.
Once you’ve gotten the ball rolling, so to speak, as momentum and progress build, you’ll find it easier and easier to get your writing done. You might even look forward to it! And as you go, you may not even need as much self-prodding to get your goals met. Enjoy the momentum and let it move you forward. It’s also a good idea to make a mental note of how that feels so that when you are in a place where you have to revert back to step 1, you’ll remember that you can do it. You’ve done it before, you can do it again.
About the Author:
Melony Teague writes contemporary romance with a dash of humor, she loves to inspire and motivate others through her written words, and she believes everyone has a story to tell. Melony is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the co-author of As the Ink Flows, a devotional for authors. Her fiction debut, A Promise to Keep releases, Jan 21, 2020. Melony was born in South Africa and now lives in Toronto with her handsome husband, their two teenagers, and does the bidding of her two adorable cats.
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A PROMISE TO KEEP
Research librarian Savannah Sanderson wants nothing more than to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. But a promise to her late husband has her attending her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion, drinking ghastly punch, and taking desperate measures just to keep her vow, even if she has to hide behind the décor to do it.
Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah.
Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?
3 thoughts on “5 Tips for Dealing with Fear by Melony Teague”
Thanks, Melony. Excellent tips.
Another way to measure progress is to keep a sticky note near your writing area. Jot down the number of words or pages at the end of every day, and the steadily increasing numbers will encourage you every morning.
That’s a great idea, Kathy!
Reblogged this on My Blog.