Imagine being one of the top 100 bloggers in the world. Ignore what poses as reality for a moment.
See yourself completing your book. Skip over the part where you start to write it.
You know you are one of the best in your field, now imagine the freedom of being "out there on your own!" Forget you feel like you can't even begin to describe yourself, your business or what you offer.
Many of us are inspired to be the next Elizabeth Gilbert, JK Rowling, or to create a beautiful website from which to launch a dream business like https://mcleanmeditation.com or https://holisticbodybasics.com
Moreover, if you believe there are hundreds of other writers and talented entrepreneurs who are much better than you, more capable, more tech-savvy, better-connected and more experienced, then you may never even BEGIN. As if to sound the death knell, from a hollow place inside you a voice says, "It would take years to gain a fraction of the skills they have."
Those self-limiting thoughts are just another form of what some refer to as a "Blocked Writer." You’re so intimidated by other writers that you don’t even want to start writing at all.
I am reminded of the episode of Frazier where he enters a bike race, buys a bike and then tries to learn how to ride it but remains convinced he will crash into one of those huge mailboxes that litter the city. During the race, all he can see are mailboxes, and he proceeds to collide with every mailbox on the course, completely missing the fact that he was riding the bike successfully in between crashes. Blocked Writers have a similar mindset, "What's the point of trying if I'm just going to crash while the fortunate few finish the race?"
The point is, you only need to take the next right to avoid the mailbox route!
Further good news is, if you're a blocked writer, that means you can get unblocked and produce a piece of writing that will please you! So how do you overcome this feeling of defeat and start creating your work? First, you need to know the truth about writing.
Yes, it is!
("No it's not.")
Is so. Infinity!
Look, I don't want to get into an argument with anyone on this point, but writing need not be as complicated and painful as your 8th-grade composition teacher, or your expensive writing coach made it out to be.
"But, why are you trying to tell me that writing is simple when plenty of folks go to graduate school and get PhDs to master the skill of writing?"
Oh dear! I say "writing is simple" to encourage you, not to make you feel bad! Think of it like this- We all have life experiences which result in many different stories written in a myriad of styles. No two people or stories are 100% alike. Agreed? You are a Story Teller, and you only need to talk in order to share a story. Let's say you are not able to speak with the person in order to share the story, so you must write your words so they can read it. No worries, writing is nothing more than talking on paper! You write to share your unique view of the very same event viewed by a thousand other people, but the flavor and details you use to tell your story are all down to you and your life experience. All thousand stories will be different!
The crucial aspect of writing is for the writer to be an Observer. Look at the world around you, and write down what you see, feel, hear, smell, notice, or deduce. Remember the key ingredient, is YOU.
"But there are already so many excellent writers in the world, how can I offer anything different?"
To which I say, "Look at your thumb, noticing all the swirls, grooves and patterns of your thumbprint. Realize that everyone who ever lived had a thumbprint and not one of them, ever, in the whole Universe has a thumbprint like yours and no one ever will!"
So now that you have shed the idea that your being a writer is impossible, how do you Step Out of the Shade?
Read the previous sentence again because it is the most important sentence in this whole blog!
Don't try to be someone you’re not. The reason that you’re intimidated by other writers is likely because you believe you need to be Anne Rice to be a good writer.
A WRITER IS AS A WRITER DOES
Somehow you also adopted the idea that the best way to get to the top of the writing ladder is to emulate the daily routines of Steven King, or Shakespeare and to follow their every habit. Many of us believe that we must read all the classics and study elements of style, as well.
Remember, writing is just talking on the page! What's important is the essence of what you're saying, use Grammarly or some such program later to fix it!
Next blog I'll assuage (ease) your fears about style, what you need to become a great writer, how to decide what to write, and what to do if you feel paralyzed by fear.