Is Fear Holding You Back from Writing Your Book?

celebrate progress fear goals imperfection milestones start writing take action Apr 30, 2023
Overcome fear of writing

One of the most common excuses for not writing a book is fear. Do any of the below fears resonate with you?

  • I'm afraid I'll never finish it.
  • I'm afraid I'm not a good enough writer.
  • I'm afraid my friends/family will judge me.
  • I'm afraid even if I do finish my book and publish it, no one will buy or read it.
  • I'm afraid no one will like my book or I'll get terrible reviews. 

The truth is, fear of writing a novel is a common issue for both aspiring AND seasoned writers. There is no way of knowing how your book will be received by readers. And if you keep waiting for the fear to subside, probably never will

All it does is hold you back, creating more doubt and overwhelm, raising the bar for your fear of judgment from others, and increasing your procrastination. And the worst part? While all those negative feelings are compounding in our heads, you’re not getting any better. You’re not getting any closer to writing your book.

What will help you conquer your fears is taking action. Taking action is what breeds confidence.

Here are some tips to help you overcome your fear and get started:

1. Break it down into smaller tasks: Writing a novel can feel overwhelming, but it becomes more manageable when you break it down into smaller tasks. Set realistic goals for yourself and focus on completing one task at a time. This could be as simple as writing for 15 minutes each day, outlining your story, or developing your characters.

2. Practice writing: Like any skill, writing takes practice. While it's great to increase your knowledge about writing through books, videos, workshops, etc., you won't really start to improve until you start writing. This will help you get comfortable with your writing style and most importantly, build your confidence.

  • Tip: Sometimes we view our big story idea as our baby, our big shining dream. We're fiercely protective over it, want it to be absolutely perfect - and as a result, are completely overwhelmed by the thought of actually writing it. If this is you, start by writing something else! Write a different story (even short stories or journal entries). There will be far less pressure and expectations so you will most likely have an easier time starting there!

3. Find a writing community: Connect with other writers who are working on their own projects. This can be through online writing groups, workshops, or classes. You can also attend writing conferences or join a local writing group to find support and encouragement. Writing a book can sometimes feel like a lonely journey, so connecting with others who are going through the same things can really motivate you to keep going. Even just reading about someone else's story might give you the inspiration you need - feel free to check out mine!

4. Embrace progress over perfection: No first draft is perfect. In fact, it shouldn't be perfect! Allow yourself to make mistakes and know that you can always revise and edit your work later. The important thing is to get your ideas down on paper and keep moving forward. Your first draft is not the place to perfect your prose or grammar. The main purpose of your first draft is to get the entire story out. It's even okay to have plot holes, inconsistencies, loose ends, etc. Having a complete draft makes it so much easier to go back and fill everything in. And just as importantly, it will give you a major boost of confidence and sense of achievement

5. Celebrate your progress: Celebrate each milestone you reach, whether it's finishing a chapter or completing your first draft. Recognize that writing a novel is a significant accomplishment, and be proud of yourself for taking the first step.

Remember, fear is a natural part of the creative process. By breaking down your writing goals into manageable tasks, practicing regularly, finding support from other writers, embracing imperfection, and celebrating your progress, you can overcome your fear and start writing your novel.

And in case no one else has told you, I believe in you. I believe that this can and will be YOUR year to take action towards your dream.


Deep encouragement, mindset shifts, writing advice, actionable tips, and proven strategies to help you achieve your dream. You in?

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