Do you have ideas bouncing around in your head that you know will make a great novel? Do you struggle with actually sitting down to write?
I have been working with the same story idea for years – 10 to be exact. In my grade nine english class, I came up with this world and my main character. I have worked on it on and off over the years but this last year I have made so much progress! Plus, I am really proud of the progress that I have made so far but there are days were I question my abilities.
Everyone has come across a time where fear has stopped them in their tracks. Me included!
Well, here are 7 reasons why you are afraid to write and I am here to tell you why these fears should not hold you back any longer.
1. You believe your writing is garbage
If you have re read your work and the thought “this sucks,” has come across your mind, you are not alone. I do it daily!
How do you concur this negativity? Well, I am pretty sure I read a quote somewhere alone the lines of – a bad paragraph of writing is a whole lot better than a blank page.
The one way you get better at writing is to write more. I know, this is not what you wanted to hear. I mean, why can’t a great novel just come out of your head the first time? Believe me, I wish it was that easy but where would the challenge be!
2. You are worried a family member might actually read your book
This one is big for me. My family has known for a while now that I am writing a novel series and every so often they ask when they will be able to read it. My answer is always “never!”
The idea of me actually have a complete novel ready to go out into the world is pretty epic and I can’t wait for that day. But if that day does ever come, do you know who will be the first to pre order – my family! (shudders)
It’s not that I don’t want them to read it, they will tell me how much they love it, I’m sure but its just that I don’t want them to read it. Do you feel me?
Writing a novel is hard and putting it out into the world is scary! If you are like me, that novel needs to come out of your mind. So don’t worry about the big picture, just focus on the story.
3. You don’t want people to read your writing, like ever!
Throughout my years in University, I did not like other people reading my writing even if it was a formal essay, I did not want people to judge me. Plus, I am a worst case scenario thinker so in my mind, anyone who reads my words will immediately hate it and tell me how much it sucks.
This is one of the hardest fears for me to overcome. I am slowly change my mindset to a positive one. Think of the best case scenario first! When people read my novel, they will love it and recommend it to all their friends!
And this is true, when I had to share my stories in my creative writing class, I recieved some awesome feedback. Yes, there was constructive criticism that I took to heart and changed my style, played to my strengths if you will.
It is a learning process! Feedback is one of the best things you can do for your writing and getting comfortable with sharing you words will get a little easier the more you do it, so start now!
4. You believe your story is cliche
When you google how to write a novel there are so many tips on what you MUST NEVER DO! You need to be unique, avoid stereotypes and find your voice. So you try to tailor your writing style to someone elses advice.
Well, I suggest to just write! Get the words on paper and then you can flush out those cliches, re work a few scenes.
If you let the fear of cliche stop you from writing then you will never write.
5. You are worried when your novel is out into the world no one will read it
Now this seems like a weird thing to worry about if you are also avoiding writing because you don’t want people to read your stuff.
Well, this is a valid fear. There are so many novels out there and nowadays self publishing is becoming very popular and ebooks can be loaded onto the web fairly easy so what makes your novel different.
What will make someone choose your book? Yeah, scary right.
My mindset is this. I am writing this novel because I need to write it. This story, these characters are apart of me and I need to tell their story. It is literally burst at the seams to get out. (You would think then I could write it a little faster than 10 years but oh well.)
The other side to this is why I love reading books so much. The feeling of reading a really good book. The feeling of falling in love with characters and their personalities is incredible. I want to provide those feelings for someone. It can be just one person who connects with my novel and I will be happy.
So don’t worry about who will read your book. If you don’t finishing writing no one will ever be able to read it!
6. You have no idea where your story is going
Okay, I have outlined my novel about 372 times since I started it and I have changed so many details and so many characters.
What was I missing? I had no idea where I wanted my story to go.
If you are just writing scene after scene with no direction, you will have trouble continuing. Take a few hours and figure out your ending.
If you start at the end you will set yourself up for success. I have outlined all of my characters end point and where they are starting the story. This way, as I write I know exactly where they will end up. How their views change, their motivations, their fears etc.
START AT THE END! This is even more important if you are writing a series. Where will your characters be at the end of book three, book six?
If you get stuck on something while writing, don’t call it quits. Write something you enjoy. This scene might not make it into the final draft but if you stop writing all together then you will always avoid writing because getting stuck happens often!
I believe in you, so get to writing!
7. You are positive someone has written your story before
This is probably the most common reason people stop writing or give up on the work in progress. You believe someone else has written your story before.
This is not true!
Every single human has a different set of style, experiences and perspectives. If you give two people a topic, they will write something that has similarities yes, but the overall story will be different.
I have said this before but I will say it again.
The english language has 26 letters and a handful of punctuation that makes us pause, stop and question. That means every piece of writing you have ever read (in the english language) has been pieced together by an author using the same 26 letters.
So yeah, there will be similarities in writing but how many retellings are there of the classic fairytales? Tons! Do they have similarities? Obviously. But are the twists and turns completely different from each other? Yes!!
So stop worrying about what other people are writing and focus on your story, your individuality and your novel!
Now go write! I mean it, pick up that pen or open that document.
Happy writing all!