I’m constantly worried that what I’m doing is wrong.
That I’m not writing the right way for my audience, that I’m not doing my characters justice, that my writing is filled with plot holes.
And not only that, but I tend to get stuck in this endless cycle of not liking what I’ve written, then spending too long editing. So much time editing, in fact, that the story or article never gets written.
“What am I doing wrong?” I ask. “What could I be doing better?
Well, for one, I’m not writing. That’s a start.
And I think that’s something that most of us don’t consider to be a factor when it comes to our writing insecurities.
It’s easier said than done, but if you want to get past your insecurities, you have to just start writing. That means no staring at the work you have so far, wondering if it’s right or wrong, wondering if you should even continue. Of course you should continue.
Even if it turns out to be the worst thing you’ve ever written. Even if you end up not wanting to publish it. Even if you don’t even want to share it with friends or family. The point is that you’ve done it.
Doing it is the first step, and, frankly, it’s the most important step. Believing that what you’re writing is “bad” definitely makes it harder to want to keep going, but the point of writing isn’t to write The Great American Novel every time you pick up a pen or open your laptop. It’s about being creative and getting down the story that you want to tell. There’s no insecurity in that; only passion, feeling, and the things you want to write about.
I’m not saying that it’s easy to push your insecurities aside in order to write, because that’s just not true. It’s hard, and it takes practice and time, but it’s worth it to at least attempt to kick those insecurities to the curb in order to pursue what you love.
I don’t believe there’s a tried and true method for fighting writing insecurities.
Just like fighting physical insecurities, it takes time and self-awareness to: one, figure out what they are, two, figure out the easiest way for you to combat them, and three, find a way to get them out of your mind and overcome them.
But with writing, you do what you can. And that’s write. Pick up that pen, open up that blank document, and pretend, just for a moment, that you have no insecurities, no flaws. That you can write anything everything, and I can guarantee that you’ll truly feel like you can.