Fear of Writing: 3 Tips to Help

Fear of Writing: 3 Tips to Help

Do you have a fear of writing? If you do, you avoid writing tasks. You procrastinate.

In professional writers, “fear” often feels like resistance. This resistance may be a good thing, as I shared on Google+:

Usually, when I wake up in the morning, I make a cup of coffee and start writing fiction immediately. It’s easiest for me to write fiction first, before I start writing “real” stuff – nonfiction. I was a little spooked this morning when I opened my email instead.

Why was I resisting? Why, oh why wasn’t I writing?

But I went with it. When I finally opened my fiction WIP, the story took off in an entirely new direction. I’m thrilled. I didn’t work on any fiction at all yesterday; I had a couple of client deadlines. It seems my subconscious mind was gestating a new (and better) direction for this story during the downtime on it. I’m pleased.

Is resistance fear of writing? In the above instance, it wasn’t. I wanted to write, but felt that I wasn’t ready. I knew I’d work on the fiction project at some point during the day.

What about a real fear of writing? Can you write anyway? Yes you can. Try these three tips.

1. Switch Your Brain: Be Happy.

This exercise sounds weird, but it may work for you – quirk your lips to the right, to trigger your left brain:

If you pull the left lip back repeatedly, it can trigger the right brain. You may feel sad. Pulling back the right lip can trigger the left brain, and a feeling of happiness.

Go on, try it. It works for me, and it may work for you. You should feel a sudden little jolt of happiness which will make your writing task seem a lot less intimidating, and more fun.

Read the LEFT BRAIN RIGHT BRAIN article which explains the exercise; it’s interesting. A lot of brain lateralization theory has been debunked, but it’s still a useful way to think about creativity and your brain.

2. Start Writing – Write Stream-of-Consciousness Material for Ten Minutes.

I’ve been using this little trick for a couple of decades, and I teach it to my writing students. It puts you into “creative” mode; writing triggers more writing.

Here’s all you do. Get a timer, and set it for ten minutes. Now start writing, and keep writing. Write anything you like, whatever words pop into your head. There’s only one rule: KEEP WRITING, no matter what, until the timer goes off.

You can type, or write by hand, it’s up to you.

Writing for ten minutes changes your mood. I discovered this when I started a daily walking regime. For the first ten minutes of the walk, I hated it. At around the eleventh minute, I started to enjoy it.

You can apply this “ten minute” rule to lots of things. Just keep doing the task for ten minutes, and you’ll start to enjoy it.

3. “I’m scared of writing because…”

This exercise works if you have a deep-seated aversion to writing. You may need to repeat it several times. If you do, it will remove your fear of writing completely. One of my students practiced this exercise several times a week for a couple of months. He has no problems with fear of writing now.

As with the stream-of-consciousness exercise, set a timer for ten minutes.

Write “I’m scared of writing because…” and keep writing for ten minutes. Try to write in whole sentences if you can. If you can’t, don’t worry about it. Again, write whatever comes. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, or censoring yourself.

If you wish, you can try this exercise using your non-dominant hand (that is, if you’re right-handed, write with your left hand.)

As we’ve said: if you keep repeating this exercise, eventually you’ll stop being afraid of writing. I’ve no idea why it works, it just does.

So there you have it; three tips to help you to overcome your fear of writing, and make writing fun. :-)

Got a writing challenge? I’ve been helping writers for 20 years. Get in touch.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

5 Easy Ways to Become More Creative FAST

Get creative fast
Get creative fast

Want to become more creative? You’re already as creative as you need to be. All you need is space to allow that creativity to flower, and time. You also need to give yourself permission to be creative.

Few of us survive our childhood with our creativity intact. However, no matter how deeply it’s buried, your creativity is there. Relax, have fun, and you’ll be more creative.

Let’s look at five ways you can become more creative in your life and your business quickly.

1. Mind map it, whatever it is

Start by framing your creative task. What task you want to be creative at doing? Your creativity is completely natural, and if you decide you want to become more creative in one area of your life, it will flow over into other areas.

The left brain/ right brain theory has been debunked, it’s nevertheless useful. We all have various networks in our brain:

People use networks in their brains, Devi explained. “So if somebody is more artistic, let’s say, then they would more likely use … networks within the right side of the brain. So it’s about the network they use. There are networks for language, there are networks for artistic ability. There are networks for math. So depending on what networks you use, you use one side of the brain more than the other.”

If you think you’re not creative, it simply means you haven’t used the relevant networks in your brain sufficiently. The more you use those networks, the more they will grow.

Let’s say you want to become more creative in your business.

Start by creating a mind map. Mind maps are images, and images trigger your right brain’s creative network, and your subconscious mind. Your subconscious is non-verbal. It “thinks” in images. It will deliver more creativity than you can ever use.

You can create a mind map by hand, or you can use an app. Currently, my favorite mind mapping app is Inspiration.

FreeMind is a free mind mapping tool. Here’s an Inspiration mind map…

inspirationmap

Add “business creativity” to the center of your mind map.

Then, without thinking about it too much, add ways you could be more creative in your business to your mind map.

2. Use images as symbols to mine your subconscious

Images trigger your creativity and your subconscious mind. You can use images in many ways. The easiest way is to choose an image, and look at it. Pinterest has lots of images. Browse.

You can also browse photos, or image-heavy magazines. I like to browse online museums – the Rijksmuseum’s my favorite. Click the image below to access the site.

rijksmuseum

When you’re browsing images, you’re not looking for anything. You’re just looking. You’ve created your mind map, but forget that for now. Just take a few minutes, relax, and look at images.

3. Go tight, then loose: focus and de-focus

To trigger your creativity, you need to focus, and then de-focus. Think, and then muse, allow your mind to drift.

Avoid forcing anything – you can’t force yourself to be creative. You simply need to allow your innate creativity.

So when you’re browsing images, study an image carefully. Look at the flow of lines and curves in image, the shadow and the light. Then, de-focus, let your gaze go soft, and absorb the image.

Try this exercise regularly. It’s a strategy you can use at any time. It will help the creative networks in your brain to grow.

4. What’s the opposite?

Have you added some thoughts to your mind map? Add something, anything. Accept whatever springs to mind. As we’ve said, you can’t force yourself to be creative, you can only allow it.

Think about the opposite of whatever you’ve added to your mind map. Add that. Adding opposites will loosen your perceptions.

5. Sleep on it: let yourself think

Your sleeping brain is creative. You can and do think while you’re asleep. Use this. (If you want to know more about sleep thinking, read Eric Maisel’s sleep thinking book.)

Before you go to sleep, write on a note: “how can I become more creative in my business?”. You can sleep-think about anything. You’ll be amazed at the creative solutions you develop to your challenges.

The key to sleep-thinking is to muse about your question as you’re falling asleep. Just wonder about it casually, don’t force anything.

The next morning, as soon as you wake up, write for five minutes. (Yes, you can make yourself some coffee first.)

You’re creative. Everyone is. Use these five ways to bring more creativity into your life fast.

, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: jef safi \ ‘Parker Mojo Flying via photopin cc