Fear of Writing? Find Out The Root Cause & Tips To Overcome It

You love to write. But something stops you from typing in the words you want to see on your screen. This post unveils the deepest secret behind the fear of writing and the steps on how to overcome it.

We live in an increasingly complex society. Today, more than ever, humanity is under a crisis to such a degree where everyone in the world is left with nothing but a hope to survive. 

Everyone lost their jobs. Bigger companies, one by one, declared bankruptcy. Subsequent outcomes of economic collapse led to political and civil unrest and an undeniable increase of tormented people—stuck at the dead end. 

Now is the time for writers to rise and to help people relive the lost hopes and faith to live in a better place and a better world. 

No matter how much I desire to help others like you to write, however, it will be useless unless you have the motivation to start writing in the first place. 

You fear writing, as every writer does. But the decision to be firm to your values and spread your unique standpoint is up to you—whether you pursue this hellish industry or not. 

Because you know what, writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It requires courage to defeat the inner critic and face the harsh truths of this vocation. 

Yet, it’s never too late to change it. If I’m not mistaken, you’re the kind of person who never gives up. You’re not the kind of person who quits. 

What Does “Writing to Learn” Talk About?

Last night, I came across a book entitled “Writing to Learn” written by William Zinsser. It showed interesting points about how writing plays an important role in perceiving the world, although the book had been published in 1993. You can get his book on Amazon. 

According to him, the only way to understand how the universe works, for instance, is when the scientists tell a good story based on the facts they gathered from their continuous research. 

Why does a good storytelling matter outside the English and writing classes? 

Zinsser argues that facts are nothing if there’s no story behind the numbers. What do those numbers mean to you and us? Tell me. If you can’t, just like any research, they won’t make sense if there’s no context.

Probably no subject is too hard if people take the trouble to think and write and read clearly. Maybe, in fact, it’s time to redefine the “three Rs”—they should be reading, ‘riting, and reasoning.

William Zinsser, American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher

From a writer’s (and editor’s) perspective, you have a big responsibility on building a bridge between you as the source of information, and your audience as the receiver. Therefore, your storytelling skills must be on par to connect the two points: the source and the receive of the information. 

Only when there’s a good storytelling process that makes even the most intimidating subject like Math interesting. Otherwise, learning will remain a traumatic experience for you and to everyone that will continue to haunt them for life. 

Are you getting my point?

2 Possible Causes For Writing Fear

Zinsser defined the 2 possible, yet, strong and fundamental, causes for you to fear writing and experience the most disheartening experience for you as a writer.

1. Your English teachers traumatize you.

You fear writing not because you don’t have anything to scribble—you always have. But your constant fear of displeasing your English teachers taught you that writing isn’t for you. Sounds familiar? 

As other average kids do, you either try to please your teacher even if it means to compromise your natural writing style; or to please your parents through pleasing your teacher. I hope I’m making sense here. But does that sound true to you, right?

Your English teachers tend to focus on structure and grammar rather than teaching the students to understand and appreciate the meaning of literature. And that is what makes their teaching wrong—traumatizing most of us to write. 

You feel intimidated when you’re tasked to write. Again, it’s not because you’re disinterested but because your English teacher trained you that you’re not good enough.

2. You’re not taught to write well in other classes besides English.

Writing good written forms of communication and other related classroom activities are limited in English classes, Zinsser mentions in one of the chapters of his book. 

Our school curriculum is so limited that its instructions exclude the submission of well-written documents or research. That’s why we often hear people say, “I am not an English major. So, I can’t write”, which isn’t true at all.

Other fields of study will become more interesting if the concepts are told in such a way people, including those without any knowledge about the subject, will understand and appreciate the concepts and theories better.

As I mentioned before, other fields of study will become more interesting if the concepts are told in such a way people, including those without any knowledge about the subject, will understand and appreciate the concepts and theories better. 

Imagine a chemistry teacher who’ll only refer to the book examples in his classes. Isn’t it boring? The whole class will be in agonizing boredom, desperate for an escape route. 

What if the chemistry teacher tries a different approach and uses backstories to teach the concepts? For instance, he might tell real-life stories of these theorists and scientists that motivated them to seek their truths. 

In that case, do you think it makes the class more interesting? Yes, right?

Those of us who teach science and other technical subjects have always felt insecure about writing. It’s not that we feel stupid…But somehow when it came to putting our words on paper it never came out right…

William Zinsser

Why Should You Write?

William Zinsser taught me to carefully choose the industry that fits your writing style. I wish I learned about that before I went through hell over the past 6 years as a writer. 

For example, you have prior knowledge about marketing in university. So, stick with it because you have something to share about the topic. You can’t do it if you’re forced to write about engineering unless you took the same course.

Why should you write? You have 5 powerful reasons to live by and to reflect by asking yourself why you should start writing today.

1. Writing helps you realize how powerful words are.

In his book, he emphasized the value of writing and how the words that make up a beautiful story make a colossal ripple effect. They help us understand one another and learn new things we never thought possible.

You see, writing is a valuable tool for us to communicate in written form. But our schools’ approach towards writing is so standardized that we lose the essence of writing per se: communication. 

That means communicating with ourselves and with others in written form. 

2. Writing adheres to humility.

Writing also makes your thoughts tangible, at the same time, it reveals how much you know and you don’t know.

Hence, it pushes you to be humble and be open to new ideas and beliefs, including those that oppose yours.

3. Writing opens so many opportunities.

Writing is the great way to new learn things. We read books and scour the internet to quench our thirst for knowledge because we don’t want to miss anything. FOMO, ya’ll.

If you look at it closely, you’ll never learn anything if nobody has done the job first. If no one has written a blog post or a book about the topic you might be interested in, you’ll never learn about it at all. 

Whatever is heard will become common knowledge in the long run just like legends and folktales. If someone writes it down, it becomes a book that can survive in the next centuries later. 

Whatever is heard will become common knowledge in the long run just like legends and folktales. If someone writes it down, it becomes a book that can survive in the next centuries later. 

Modern archaeologists dig deep under pyramids and mountains to find the truth about the history and the development of all human civilizations before us. Through these printed texts, we understand and picture out their way of life thousands of years ago through printed forms. 

Take the ancient Bible or the hieroglyphics as an example. 

4. Writing records history.

Concerning the previous point, writing is the only way for the next generations to know about us, our present lives, our goals for humanity in the next hundred years. 

If you look at it closely, we’ll soon become a history. In the next 1,000 years, your blog post becomes an archaeological find. Your diaries, planners, or journals become a valuable artifact that provides the information of how we live today. 

We’ll never know how it would be at the time. But one thing is for sure. If you will not write today, your existence turns to dust. No one will care about you or even know that you once exist. 

Don’t these reasons make writing so attractive? Do you realize your unique invincible power to make the world unrest or at peace—through words? 

They will. 

But they can’t because you didn’t start writing that piece. 

5 Steps To Overcome Writing Fear

Writing fear is no joke. It’s a debilitating feeling only writers can understand. It’s depriving one’s creative expression, the will to live and to share wonderful stories with others. 

If this describes your situation perfectly, you can do the following steps to overcome it. 

1. Step back and evaluate the rationality of your thoughts.

Just like any aid for anxiety and panic attacks, you need to step back, sit down, and take a deep breath in with your nose and release the negativity through your mouth. 

Relaxation is necessary to allow yourself to evaluate whether your mind exaggerates the real situation or not. Take the time to think if becoming distant with writing makes you feel happy and content or if it makes you feel worse. 

2. Realize how much the world needs you.

You see, the world is waiting for you to speak up. They need your voice and your thoughts about their lives. They’re waiting for you to speak the words they want to scream at the top of their lungs. 

You’ll never know your words can provoke suppressed ideals and redemption of lost souls. It’s the manner you convey a story that matters, not your background – with or without an English major. 

3. Realize how writing helps you achieve your dreams.

Your writing skills can not only make you a stable income (when done right—Click here to find out how!), but it also helps you achieve your dreams: 

  1. To speak the words you want the world to know 
  2. To be heard after long-shattering moments of shame and self-doubt 

Through your words, you can make a difference. It’s true. Your presence means a lot. The fact you’re here, reading my content, it proves that you have something that hasn’t come out. Yet. 

4. Remind yourself that you’re a writer by heart.

You’re a writer by heart. Yet, the global crisis also affects our time to write, spending most of the time to survive. It’s hard. I know what you’re going through. 

Rather than sitting comfortably on your writing desk and spending hours and hours of writing, you seek financial security to, at least, secure the meals of your family. 

Nonetheless, always remind yourself that you’re a writer. You’re born with an exceptional power to inspire and lead others.

5. Make slow but consistent progress.

I bet it would be hard enough to hold a pen or open the laptop and open the MS Word. You’re too tired to think and learn. Your fatigue overwhelms you so that you rather sleep than write. 

Though this is the case, deep in your heart, you know you are a writer and you’re passionate about it. It’s just that your body can’t cope with the demands at once.

Even so, just because you slack off with your writing goals, it doesn’t mean you’re lazy. That means it doesn’t have to make you feel guilty. Slow but consistent progress still brings you faster than not doing anything at all.

Just because you slack off with your writing goals, it doesn’t mean you’re lazy or that doesn’t make you an irresponsible writer.

Conclusion – Face Your Fear & Start Writing!

It takes a blog post or a book to change someone’s life or commence a violent revolution that brings good outcomes or harms humanity. 

With the global reset now in 2020, brought by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the best time for you to start writing even a single sentence or a paragraph. It doesn’t matter. As Jeff Goins, a bestselling author, puts it, “Just be present.” 

Treat your word processor or whatever writing tools you use as your reader. Even if you only have a sentence or a paragraph, write it down. Spare some minutes or an hour to think of what you want to say and write them down.

As ideal as it sounds, paradoxically, most of us don’t do. We’re too financially burdened to think about other things unrelated to financial stability. We’re too busy trying to survive every single day, trying to have at least one decent meal for the family. 

However, wherever you go, there’s no way out. You’ll not find any jobs as many companies one-by-one shut their businesses and declare bankruptcy. Hence, it’s time for you to write and get serious about this craft. 

Writing can certainly bring you somewhere. It brings you money and flexibility to work anywhere and anytime. The bottom line is you should be firm with your stand because it requires you to be strong and resilient. 

But I believe that you are and you can do this. Now is the perfect time to be true to yourself and listen to the tiny voice in your heart saying, “I’M A WRITER.” 

It’s up to you to make the decision. 

If you like this post, feel free to share it with your friends and family. Especially those who struggle to find their writing voice. 

If you have something more to add or maybe you have concerns, feel free to leave them in the comment section below or shoot me an email. Thank you. 🙂


SOURCES

Zinsser, William. “On Writing Well: the Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction.” Amazon, HarperPerennial, 2016, www.amazon.com/Writing-Learn-William-Zinsser/dp/0062720406.

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