Writer’s Block and Fear

Last night, I tossed and turned in bed, thinking about the entry I posted yesterday about perfectionism. I felt that it was nowhere near my best work. I talked about how smart I am, which I am sure could be off-putting to a lot of people. I am in no way superior to others because of my intelligence, but I may have given off that vibe yesterday. I was afraid that I was going to lose readers and friends over that entry.


Fast forward to this morning: I was trying to think of topics to write about today, and I could not think of a thing. I had writer’s block. I had let fear from last night set in.


I’ve heard the notion that writer’s block is actually fear in a clever disguise. It’s not that I don’t know what I’m going to write. I’m afraid of what will flow out of my fingers as I type. I fear that my writing won’t be any good, and that I will become a miserable failure.


That’s it. My writer’s block stems from fear of failure. That’s what kept me from writing creatively for years. I tried to run away from fear, only to confront it over and over again. I let fear paralyze me, and keep me from making any sort of forward motion.


I’ve mentioned before that one needs to lean into fear — not run away from it or try to work around it. When one works through the fear, one eventually attains success. There may be failures along the way, but I could let failure become a teaching opportunity for me. I could reflect on what went wrong in my venture, and then try another strategy.


I don’t know whether this blog is going to succeed or fail. It’s too soon to tell. This concept that I am attempting might not work in the long term. But that’s OK. I’m always coming up with new ideas (except when I have writer’s block!), so I can try a new idea and see if it sticks.


Eventually, I will succeed. For now, I am practicing my style and finding my writer’s voice. I’ve kept quiet for far too long. The longer I speak, the more I will hone in on my distinctive brand. I will come up with some gibberish sometimes, but I can use that as a teaching tool for what not to say in the future.


I felt that my blog entry yesterday was a dud, but I’m not going to delete it and only present the best version of myself. I made a pact to myself to be open and vulnerable. It’s tough a lot of the time, but it’s perhaps the most significant predictor of my success as a voice for mental health awareness.


Depression set in yesterday after I published that blog entry. I let my perception of failure control my emotions. I’m not sure whether depression is a typical response to my scenario. Neurotypical people, please chime in. All I know is that it commonly happens within myself.


I’m afraid. I’m so afraid. I want people to like me, but I know I will meet some dissenters who will come across my blog. For my entire life, I’ve encountered people who didn’t like me, but I think that’s more a reflection upon themselves than upon me. Those people don’t matter in my life. I’ll take constructive criticism into consideration, but I won’t consider insults anymore.


And look, I have an entry for today. I did not let writer’s block get the best of me after all. I confronted the topic and broke through it. I like breaking barriers. I don’t do that enough in my life. It’s something I want to do more. I have a feeling that I will be breaking through the mold a lot from now on.

4 thoughts on “Writer’s Block and Fear”

  1. I think failure has varied responses in different people…depression, substance abuse, or withdrawal from situations that might produce failure. I don’t have long-term depression, so failiures don’t make me depressed. What do I do? Usually I avoid the people or situation for a while if I can, replay the events in my head dozens of times, and either come up with a plan to do better next time, or conclude that I could not have done anything differently. Sometimes that conclusion might take a long time to reach, however!

    1. Very often failure is a learning opportunity for me. I figure out what I could have done better, and I let that fuel my next venture. I am stumbling through this thing called life, but I haven’t fallen. I’ve got this!

  2. I believe that one should write what they are passionate about, what matters to them, or what is on their mind at the time.

    And screw everyone else who does not have the same beliefs as you.

    You can’t please everybody all the time so do not try.

    Brian

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. I know I can’t please everyone all the time, yet I still try. But I’m not being true to myself when I try to please everyone. I am doing myself and others a disservice. I just need to be myself.

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