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"People email me about their writing fears A LOT"

What do you do when you’re scared to write?

Every time I write anything related to my mother, the following scene unfolds in my head:

My brother finally decides to read the blog section of my site.
We have an argument.
He reverts to 7-year-old-mode and decides to seek revenge by showing Mother what he read.
My mum stops talking to me.
She prohibits my entire family from contacting me.
We never have that argument about why I’m such a disrespectful daughter and why I feel the need to let the world know what’s happening in my head.
I remain in limbo forever.
The end.

Once that dramatic scene has subsided, I’m then plagued with thoughts like:

Will people think I hate my mum?
Will I piss people off because I’m not writing about writing?
Is any of this seriously interesting to anyone?
What if nobody reads this?
Am I taking the honesty thing too far?

This entire process lasts all of 2 seconds (my mind at super-speed, folks). I acknowledge it. I ignore it. And start writing.

Is this pushing past the fear, or knowing it’s there and simply ignoring it?

People email me about fears around writing a lot

They’ll write things like:

I’m scared to write about the dark stuff because I’m scared people will think I’m a manic depressive. I’m not. But I don’t want to be labelled.

I’m afraid that nobody will want to read my stuff, or that my message will be confusing.

I don’t know how to put what I want to say into words.

What are you afraid to write about?

What would happen if you did write about it?

And more importantly – what would happen if you didn’t?

Often when we decide to go against our gut feeling, we end up feeling like … something’s missing.

Or we feel a tinge of regret for not doing what felt right.

Or we simply feel cowardly for not doing the brave thing.

This is the case in a lot of aspects of life, right?

We spend years in jobs that aren’t fulfilling just because they pay the bills.

We stay with partners that we’re not happy with because being single and dating is really freakin’ scary.

Or we forge ahead with businesses that make money but become a chore because we can’t see how to profit from altruism.

For those who haven’t subscribed to receive updates from me (you should – the other side’s waiting for ya), I’ll tell you that I’ve started sending an email to my subscribers every Friday called The Friday Rap Session.

Hands down, it’s my favourite thing to write (apart from Snapchat messages to my niece – I really love writing those).

I wake up at 6am, fire up my laptop and start writing whatever comes into my head. The idea of The Rap Session is to sum up what happened (in life, in my head, in fantasy land) that week – that’s it.

Those emails can get very honest.

And have resulted in some open conversations with people who were once strangers.

People telling me about how they lost a loved one and how it impacted them.

Emails that open up feelings of fear and self-judgement because business isn’t booming like it was supposed to.

Emotional connections being made because I happened to mention the self-doubt I feel every time I launch a new programme.

The surprising thing, the refreshing, the enlightening thing is that none of this would have happened if I took the heart out of writing and simply wrote about writing.

I bang on about how writing with personality’s paramount, but not writing using my personality would make me a hypocrite.

And nobody likes those.

The biggest revelation is that people have started approaching me to write for them. I’m building my business by simply being honest? Whodathoughtit?

So back to you.

How will you deal with this fear around writing?

What will you do to develop those courage muscles and pencil something that makes you feel really freakin afraid?

I encourage you to experiment.

What do you wish you could write about but don’t because it doesn’t make business sense?

What topics do you want to dive into but hold back because you assume people simply won’t be interested?

What scene unfolds in your head when you consider writing the tough stuff?

Once you’re clear on it – write it all down. Every fear, every doubt and every insecurity.

And then test it out.

Open up a document, type out whatever it is you were afraid to write, copy & paste it into an email or blog post, and hit publish.

Then forget about it.

Whatever happens will be part of the experiment.

Maybe you’ll see comments from readers who connected with your message.

Maybe you’ll hear crickets.

Or maybe you’ll publish your post on Medium, have it shared fifteen million times, have Oprah randomly read it, and score yourself a book deal.

It’s all possible.

So go forth. Experiment. And report back your findings.

Side note: If I write about how my mother hasn’t spoken to me in well over a year, be sure that my bro had something to do with it.

 

And one final question: What advice would you give someone who’s afraid to write about a particular topic? Share in the comments.

 

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2 Comments

  • Sabita says:

    Hey Raz!

    Awesome post. I confess that I haven’t started my blog yet because I’m sort of scared to be my self. However, the baby step I took is writing facebook posts in different groups where I’m super open. And I have seen people connecting on an emotional level. So, I guess whenever I’ll start my blog, I’ll do so likewise.

    Thanks for putting this post together. Love ya for doing this!

    Reply
    • That’s a really great start, Sabita! Facebook groups where you know the community is a brilliant for starting the sharing process. Plus you see immediate feedback. Good work !

      Reply

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