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?
Quick back story…
I got to know this guy.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.