where the writers are
Why Don’t You Start—or Finish—a Writing Project? Answer #2

Today I’m going to tackle another answer to the question, ““What stops you from writing—or finishing—a book, e-book or other writing project?”

Many of us don’t pursue our writing dreams out of a fear of failure. We feel afraid that we won’t get it right, our work won’t be perfect, we will find ourselves ill equipped for the task, we won’t be good enough or will be thought uncredentialed, will be judged negatively in some way, we will give up before we finish, or we will not be able to complete or reach our goal.

Many of us have been given the message, “If you’re gonna do something, do it right.”  Or maybe we have been offered the opposite message: “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.” Additionally, some of us have internalized the message, “Don’t start something you can’t finish.”  Together, these add up to paralysis. With these beliefs ingrained into our heads, we remain stuck in our fear that we won’t do it right or we won’t finish. So, we don’t start.

If any of these fears apply to you, your  goals and dreams remain visions of what you might have been, might have accomplished. Your human potential remains unrealized. You remain trapped in a jail of your own making unable to live your life—or writing life—fully and to manifest your dreams and goals. Your thoughts, fears and beliefs keep you locked up.

You must move through your fears. You must become a courageous writer who simply breaks free and with faith in yourself, your topic, your writing project, and your writing ability begins to write. Like Harrison Ford in The Last Crusade, you have to step off the cliff and believe the bridge will be there for you to walk upon as you take steps towards your writing goals.

Additionally, realize that your fears, beliefs and thoughts can be changed. Change your mind. Change your thoughts. Your thoughts create your actions to a huge extent. Stop believing the messages your were given early in life. Stop buying into your fears, since most of them are not based on fact. Analyze your fears and decide how many of them are based on reality. You will discover most--if not all--have no basis in reality at all.

Today, take one step towards your goal—even if you are afraid. Watch the bridge unfold before you. Try one of these steps:

  • Write an article.
  • Send a query letter to an editor.
  • Write a book proposal or send one out.
  • Publicize your work in some way.
  • Set up a social networking account.
  • Create a blog.
  • Create a website.
  • Start your book.
  • Mind map your table of contents for your book.
  • Write a special report and offer it for sale on your website.
  • Declare yourself an expert on an expert site like ExpertClick.com.
  • Compile blog posts into a short book, special report or article.

For inspiration, watch this video (watch all the way to the end...): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwIQEDZYcIc

For more inspiration or help moving through your fear, try reading my booklet, Navigating the Narrow Bridge, 7 Steps for Moving Forward Courageously Even When Life Seems Most Precarious. It discusses how we "make ourselves afraid" with our thoughts and how we can overcome this tendency.