“Fear and excitement are basically the same things, it’s just one has a sick feeling to it.” – Tony Robbins
I’ll be the first to admit, the blank page can be daunting with nothing but a bright, white expanse that feels endless; accented with the blinking cursor that seems to be saying “Umm hey, I’m waiting…are we going to do this or what?”
I stop and think to myself, “How in the world am I going to transpose all this chaos in my head and organize it in a clear and concise manner that others will not only understand but will provide value to their lives? I mean, why would someone willingly donate their time and focus on this mess I’m composing?”
Therefore the blank page turns from intimidating to confusion, to self-doubt and I walk away; page still blank.
This paralyzing, cyclic nature of “writer’s block” all stems from one thing: FEAR.
Fear of failure. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of judgment. Fear of starting.
I am not the pinnacle of prolific writing by any means, but I’ve come a long way since we started Too Fit. I wanted to share with you the list that I keep handy when writer’s block (aka fear) comes over me.
If you can see the truths in these five realizations, the blank page will be a thing of the past, and you’ll be scoffing at the idea of it in no time!
1. Realize you have a story to share
You are a unique individual with experiences exclusive to you. You see the world through your lens. You are the only person IN THE WORLD with this content-rich information. You are sitting on a gold mine, and you do not even realize it.
This beautiful life, with all its ups and downs, triumphs and trials, exhilaration and heartbreak, is God’s gift to you. Now, what are you going to do with it?
2. Realize no one else can tell your story like you (or for you)
A good friend of ours likes to say, “Everybody has a book in them.” It’s such a simple statement that holds profound truth. Your life’s journey has slowing been stockpiling inside you, and no one else has access. There is a reason for that: who, IN THE WORLD, could tell your story better?
3. Realize the world needs your story
It does not require a rocket scientist to know humanity is fragile and broken. Pick up any newspaper or turn on any news outlet; we are a volatile society that is in dire need.
See here’s the dichotomy of the individualism of life: although these experiences are unique to you in time, space, and circumstance, nearly every individual can relate. For instance, maybe I’ve never been in a wreck that left me paralyzed or lost the love of my life, but perhaps I’ve been through multiple surgeries where I know what’s like to lose mobility in my limbs for a time. Or maybe I have lost loved ones and seen the damage it can inflict on the spouse left behind.
This relatability allows people to connect with what your writing, whether that be your life’s story or a “How To” manual. People need to hear how others have overcome a difficulty. People need to know that you have failed and done so miserably. And people need hands-on, tangible information to improve their lives.
So what can you provide? Whatever it might be, I can guarantee there is a need. This is your gift back to God and back to society.
4. Realize movement creates momentum
Action Step: Just Get Started.
Begin typing, journaling and scribbling down whatever is in your heart and mind. It does not have to be organized; it does not have to be neat. There is a step called Editing for a reason!
Just like when you have no motivation to exercise, but you get started, and after a few minutes you feel great and wonder, “Where was all this energy hiding?”
Starting is the hardest part, but it will soon begin to snowball and pick up speed before you even realize. Put away all the self-doubt and criticisms of teachers past, and just start moving!
5. Realize you will ONLY get BETTER with time and practice
Action Step: Keep Going.
Like anything in life, writing takes practice. Here’s the great news though it’s virtually impossible to become an inferior writer. Said differently: if you continue to write, your writing will be made more elegant, your vocabulary will expand, and your writing process will become streamlined and efficient.
It boils down to one thing: writing will become easier and much more enjoyable!
With all that said, get out there and start changing the world with your writing.
-We recently spoke with Cassy Joy Garcia of Fed and Fit and learned first-hand how she started a blog with 21 followers, which blossomed into a full-scale business that’s changing lives. Hear her advice for starting and growing a blog, along with her book writing process here.
-Numerous friends and colleagues of ours have worked with Nancy Erickson, dubbed The Book Professor. She helps people write all sorts of books by extracting the stories and information stockpiled within you and places it on paper in a concise, easily digestible manner. For some quick advice on writing from Nancy herself, visit here.