We’ve tackled some of the most common writing fears in this series on writing fears, but there may still be some lurking in the keyboard.
When I am coaching a client about her fears, I respond very differently than what I am writing here. In a one-one situation, I am able to ask questions that reveal the underlying truth for my client. From there she is able to take actions that are appropriate for her situation.
In this series, I am offering advice. You can take what applies to your situation, or leave it.
The following two fears are closely linked. I have found these to be very common for writers, and also very easy to move beyond.
Can’t choose among all your great ideas? Creative people are often flooded with inspiration. One idea comes and others quickly rush in to build upon it. This can feel great – the flush of exuberance and wonder as we revel in the possibilities. Like an effusive fireworks display, our ideas flare and fade if we can’t choose and bring them to the page. This pattern can erode our trust in ourselves that we can accomplish things, that we can bring our brilliance through to completion.
Solution: When inspiration arrives, make sure to capture it in a journal. Keep an ongoing list of things you want to write about. Use these questions to filter through and choose:
- What is important about this idea for me right now?
- If I had only one more month to write, which idea would I focus on?
Then choose one idea and follow it until it is complete. Become familiar with the phase of creation that follows the original impulse. Learn how you are when you are committed to a project. In my e-book, Cross the Finish Line: Five Steps to Leap Over Common Hurdles to Completion, I share several ways to effectively prioritize your projects so you finish them.
Afraid you won’t be able to complete work? This fear is a result of not being able to focus your creativity. When we live in the exciting flush of new ideas and potential, our confidence in being able to complete is underdeveloped. We don’t trust ourselves that we can complete something.
Solution: Choose one idea for a story or essay or whatever you wish to write. Choose a start date and a completion date. Choose a way to celebrate the completion, whether it is treating yourself to a special outing, buying yourself a new journal, or something luscious for you. Your goal may be to complete a draft of a story, to fill up a journal, to complete a chapter of your book. Give yourself permission to do it badly. Don’t worry about the quality yet, just focus on your intention to complete something.
Tell someone you trust what you are doing. Write a comment below to share your intention. Then, step by step work toward it. As other ideas come up, put them in your idea journal and stay with the project in front of you. Trust that you can complete work and enjoy the process of developing that muscle. There is a lot more involved in the process of completion but this should give you a place to start. For a step-by-step guide to completing, pick up a copy of Cross the Finish Line.
What has worked for you to get beyond these fears? Drop a comment below and stay tuned for more solutions for writing fears.