When I thought of writing a new article, the first flash of inspiration came from the AMA I did last week with Tristan Lombard for the Testim Community.
During the AMA, Savanna Goodman asked an excellent question that correlates with our fear, imposter syndrome, and feelings that we may have while writing articles, and that led me to write this article.
“Everyone knows better than me”, “There may be tons of articles written on the same topic”, “Will people read my article if I also write about the same”.. Questions like these lead to writer’s block.
Then what makes us or our article different, right?
Everyone has a different perception and understanding of things, and when they share it, it will be a different interpretation.
When you plan to write something, start with the “why“, understand the purpose. My purpose of writing this article is to inspire a few of you to do things that may inspire you. And when you find the purpose, the human element in your writing will evolve, and it will eventually make it unique.
When I started writing, I also faced fear and scared to break the shell and I always wanted to be in my comfort zone. But as time flew, I realise wonders happen when we overcome those fears. Now I hope that the things I followed may help you to break free from your shell.
The shift of mindset!
The first thing I changed was my mindset. Instead of keeping a fixed mindset on things, have a growth mindset. This shift made me realise that there is a whole new world that I didn’t see.
I am a visual learner, and writing gives me options to think deeper, learn more and have different perspectives. But, I didn’t dare to share my thoughts with the public. I write, and then they will remain as drafts for so long.
Are we getting anything out of it? No!!!
We learn more when we start sharing it. So one fine day, I confidently decided to publish my articles by overcoming my fear. Trust me! After that, I never looked back or had a second thought. Writing becomes one of the easiest things when you start doing it, and you don’t have to wait for the contents. The contents will flow into your mind automatically; that’s the magic.
It’s nearly impossible to create anything perfect, and trying to do that will only increase the fear of failure to a writer.
Try telling yourself,
“Done is better than perfect.”
Even if you try harder to make things perfect, they don’t end up perfect and it becomes exhausting. Having an accountability partner or a friend to show your work often helps. For me, my first audience is my wife. She is always the best trusted and supportive critique, who gives me the courage to release it to the masses.
When you write, let your creativity flow freely without having any second thought. Only after finishing it, think about edits and also put a limit on your revisions.
A piece of advice that I told myself initially that helped me to publish articles by overcoming inner panics was,
“It is hard to find completely finished works, be bold and make the first move then only we can get the room for improvement by taking the feedbacks constructively.”Tweet
Follow your narrative style without comparing it with others. Comparing with others will drain your energy and lead to burn out. Creativity is unique for everyone, and believe that you are doing what you love.
And, this was one of the ideas that gave birth to Synapse QA. There are talented writers out there who are usually lost somewhere. We are trying to find those treasure troves and be a trusted accountability partner they can trust and show their work.
Importance of having a proper schedule
Practise and keep a schedule. If you don’t, you will lose it eventually.
We end up thinking, wanting, dreaming and planning about writing but never do it. Even days and weeks may pass with only having these thoughts.
For me, keeping a schedule in the initial days helped to become a consistent writer. One of the reasons that make writing difficult or time-consuming is this lack of practice and inconsistent schedule.
I stuck to a writing schedule for 30 days. One of the most significant benefits I found was that writing got a lot easier and more organised. During the first two weeks, thirty minutes would result in a few paragraphs. And now, I could quickly write almost 1000 words during my half-hour sessions.
The only way to keep your writing thoughts strong is by actually exercising them by writing them down. And by doing so, the whole process becomes more manageable.
Have a plan, set a goal of writing each day for any amount of time, see how much you can write, and then evaluate the progress after a month.
Overcoming fear of failure and lack of confidence
What if people don’t like it? What if they call you a bad writer?
It was a revelation to know from one of my mentors that even the worlds famous writers were “bad writers” for a few! Opinions may vary with people, and everyone will have their views and interpretations.
Don’t let criticisms or lack of confidence stop your creativity. Take those as a learning and move on.
It doesn’t matter how technically perfect it is if you can’t make people feel your writing. This is my mantra to have confidence.Tweet
Write for yourself and to increase your knowledge and learn more. You will always have one fan, at least.
Embrace the fear and do it anyway. I was always scared to share my work, but no matter the reaction, now I’m glad that I did. And now, every time I put myself out there, it gets easier to do it again.
Writing takes courage and optimism. Remember it’s hard for many of us, including me. The important thing is to TRY.
Ensure that your narration tells a story
Why do we like movies? Or Tedx talks Or conference talks? It is because they tell us a story. Like any other form of art, what you write should also tell a story that helps draw the readers.
Let me compare it with a movie. A compelling story will have a protagonist, an antagonist, a plot and a climax. In our article, the protagonist is the point we are trying to highlight, the antagonist is the problem we are trying to solve, how we solve it is the plot, and the climax explains what happens if we don’t do it. Ensure every part of the story ties itself together because that is when the readers will love your work.
What about L.I.E.S then?
Now, you may be thinking, what is L.I.E.S I mentioned in the title. That is to highlight the importance of having a clickbait title. Make your titles strong enough and attractive, which increases the reader’s curiosity.
Since you are curious to know what L.I.E.S is, let me brief about it by re-iterating to one of our previous point. We all remember the importance of having a schedule and practising, right?
And among all these points highlighted, you all need to note down one more important issue.
“Being a writer means always being curious for writing inspiration.”
To keep up with my writing schedule, I keep track of everything on a personal notion board. It gives me a feeling of happiness when I move the topics to done 😊. And L.I.E.S are my secret recipe to categorise the ideas that helped me break the shell and be organised. It worked well for me to keep my creative pipeline always filled and may help you as well. I am not lying😉. It is just an acronym.
- L: Learn & Listen
- I: Ideas & Implementations
- E: Experience & Execution
- S: Sharing
Interested to know more about it?? You can unleash the writer by reading more from here:
If you missed the fantastic AMA, do check it out:
I am curious and interested to know how you break the shell? And will this help you to overcome the fears? I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts so that we can be better writers for tomorrow together.