The Writing Cooperative’s community has thousands of members. We encourage new people to introduce themselves upon joining. I often see an introduction explain the person writes, but doesn’t publish.
The most common reason: fear.
Hitting the publish button is scary. Opening ourselves up to criticism, ridicule, and rejection is not an easy thing to do. I’ve been publishing things online for as long as I can remember, but fear still creeps into my brain. Often in strange ways.
A while back I bought a new notebook. My intent was to capture ideas as they came. I’d go back later and develop them as time permitted. But the notebook was new and clean. Its pages’ pure. That potential crippled my brain.
“My ideas aren’t good enough for this sleek book.”
“Why should my atrocious handwriting muddy that crisp page?”
“If I write my thoughts down, I give them power. What if I don’t want them to have power over me?”
These thoughts prevented me from opening the notebook. These fears prevented me from opening the notebook for years. Many ideas came and went while I was too afraid to pull the notebook from the drawer.
Earlier this year I shoved those silly, fearful ideas aside and wrote the first idea I could think of. Putting something on paper pushed the fears aside. The next idea became easier to capture. Now I don’t even think about it. When an idea strikes, I pull out the notebook and write.
Fear cripples our writing in many ways. You might be afraid to send a cold pitch to a publication. Maybe it’s a fear of seeking an editor’s help. Maybe you’re afraid of hitting the publish button for the first time.
Whatever the fear is, the first time is always the hardest. Just like with my notebook, each time after becomes easier. Before you know it, fear is in the rearview mirror.
Look at your writing process. Is fear holding you back? Preventing you from moving forward? Push the fear aside and move forward. Your writing will grow. And you will too.