The Point


Writing Fear (A Written List of Fears)

Barry Feldman: May 27, 2016 | Best practices for copywriting, Writing | Comments
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writing fear

Scribophobia? Keyboard petrification syndrome (aka KPS)? That’s stupid. For lack of a better name, we’ll call it “writing fear.”

Who cares what you call it. If you write, you get it. It’s frightening. Right?

What isn’t?

Quick back story…

I got to know this guy.

Jon Nastor

Jon Nastor. Good guy. Love him. He’s the host and co-host of two podcasts on Copyblogger’s Rainmaker.FM and I was asked to guest on an episode of the Hack the Entrepreneur program. Jon sent me his book, Hack the Entrepreneur.

The book’s essentially entreprenuerial smarties that were also on his show sharing their insights. I know many of them. One of them is this guy.

Jay Baer

Jay Baer. Love him too. Author of Youtility and more. CEO of Convince and Convert. Big-time in-demand speaker. And straight-up good guy. Also a friend. Jay’s quoted in Jon’s book:

“I tell entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs this all the time…
If I can give you any piece of advice, it’s to write down your fears.
People always tell you to write down your goals, and, yeah, I get that.
I don’t do that, actually. I think it’s limiting, but I do write down my fears.”

~ Jay Baer

I felt the need to try it. I did so months ago. You’ll never guess why I haven’t published it until now. Right. Scared. This little trip into my psyche is unlike anything I’ve ever shared.

WTF. Here goes Jon, Jay, Joe, Jack, Jill, Jane, or whatever your name is 😉

Sometimes I fear…

Pushing the publish button. I always come around to doing it, but it’s never easy.

Every blog post, including this one, is just more noise.

I’m repeating myself.

I’m unoriginal.

No one will read what I’ve written.

What I’ve written won’t rank.

What I’ve written won’t be shared.

What I’ve written won’t get me new clients: people who pay me to write more shit.

The people who think I’m a great writer don’t know shit.

Random shit.

I write “who” when I should have written (or is it wrote?) “whom.” Whom knows all the rules?

I’m a rookie.

I’m a dinosaur.

I’ll never have another idea.

I’ll never have time to get to all my ideas.

I’ll write something that’s wrong. Or I’ll contradict a tenet that I teach.

I’ll lose sight of what a big idea really is.

I’ll lose my train of thought. My mind can be a pinball machine.

I’ll lose interest in writing.

The piece I write won’t be any good.

Or it won’t be as good as someone else’s piece on the same topic.

Or it won’t be as good as I’m capable of.

I’ll disappoint my readers. Like with this piece. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written. It’s not even about marketing. It’s not what you’ve come to expect from me. I’m a little afraid it’ll turn you off. Or change your opinion of me.

I won’t finish what I’ve started.

I’ll never start for fear of not finishing.

I don’t have another book in me.

I won’t be able to get that book out of me.

I write too slowly.





All the stuff I write.

Lots of the stuff I read.



(Deep breath)

Wow. That them there’s my fears, my dear.

I’m afraid I may have forgot a few.

I fear tomorrow will bring new ones.

But I no longer fear writing my fears down. Or sharing them with you.

Actually, it’s fucking therapeutic.

Jay says…

“When you write down your fears and you give them a voice and you give them shape and you put them on a piece of paper and you look at them, they don’t seem so scary. When you dimensionalize your own fears, when you dimensionalize your own risk, it’s amazing how much courage you can find you didn’t know you had.”

“We get scared of things because we look at them in the abstract. When we look at them in the specific, it takes the power out of them, and it’s something that I really try and live by, and it’s served me well.”

What scares you, my friend? Let it out. And write it down. Feels good. 

Barry Feldman
Barry Feldman, founder of Feldman Creative, is a prolific writer with 25 years of experience bringing his clients' online presence to the next level through copywriting and content marketing creation and consulting. He writes and educates clients on online marketing on The Point and on many other sites across the web. Connect with Barry on Google+.
Barry Feldman


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  • Scott Abel

    I’m scared of clowns. And of stupid people with the right to vote. And that I will die before I accomplish what I’m supposed to accomplish. And that I won’t think of the big idea; the one that matters. And, I’m scared that what I create won’t leave a lasting impression. And, many more things too numerous to mention here.

    Oh, that does feel good. I think I’ll crack open a bottle of wine right now and start the holiday weekend off right. Thanks, Barry.

    • Barry Feldman

      Very awesome response. Should I be scared you’re starting the weekend too early? Or that it’s always the weekend? Thanks Scott. Enjoyed your comments.

    • Barry Feldman

      Clowns? Or clowns that vote?

  • Leisa Peterson

    Love it! I am definitely scared of writing!! And that is why I appreciate your stuff so much — you give me hope 🙂

  • Charles Warnock

    As a marketer of a certain age, I am afraid I will turn out to be more of a balding hack than a bold hacker.