The Fear of Writing

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If you’ve ever posted a blog, you know the emotion of purging your soul, the thrilling rush of adrenaline when you hit post, the paralyzing fear of writing the link to your Facebook, and the cowering as you wait for feedback. It’s both exhilarating and crushing all at once.

The day before Heath and I started dating, he discovered my blog. It wasn’t hidden or anything, I just never shared the link publicly. It sat buried in my Twitter profile.

He simply texted me and told me he’d spent the last hour reading my blog and my words pleasantly surprised. You can bet I instantly logged on and began skimming my recent posts to gauge just how embarrassed I should be. But then he told me he was crazy about me and how my blog made him smile.

Fear of Writing

That was all I needed. Ever since, I’ve publicly shared my blog posts. Something in the way his words made me blush changed my mind. It was flattering. I was floored that someone could read my words and respond positively.  Magically, I couldn’t wait to write and share my thoughts.

Last year, my new year’s resolution was to reach 175 posts posts to my blog. I rounded out the year with 132. I haven’t decided if I’m proud or disappointed in that goal. 175 posts weren’t unattainable. In addition to current posts, I only needed to write 2-3 times weekly. I didn’t reach my goal, but I greatly increased my blog traffic and increased my confidence.

Slowly, I cultivated a habit of writing daily. The glow of Heath’s encouragement faded with time, but I was already dedicated. I woke up between 5-5:30 each morning and wrote until 7am. The television tempted me. Breakfast tempted me. But I curled up on the couch and typed until I absolutely had to start getting ready for work.

I did not stop writing on purpose.

Even the morning I packed up my car to drive home from New Orleans, I sat down to write briefly before hitting the road. But that was the last time I wrote consistently and that was three months ago.

I’ve written sporadically since then. I usually write about 300 words of a potential blog, hate it, delete, and move on to Facebook or something easier to digest. What was so routine before is now what I dread.

But I really enjoy writing. I like sitting in front of my computer and throwing my entangled thoughts into perfectly straight lines of text. I understand and learn so much more about myself when I take the time to process and write.

So why don’t I write anymore?

The question is really more for me than for you.

Fear and insecurity crept in. Consequently, Netflix, DVR, and the Internet flared up. Sleeping in has been on the rise.

Writing, or whatever your hobby or your dream is, takes discipline. It takes hustle and dedication. Time. Energy. Passion.

Right now is normally when I stop writing. I write approximately a page of text and ask myself, “What’s the point?” What is the point of this post? What is the point of my blog? What is the point of writing anything at all?

I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to any of those questions. But I know that today, writing got me out of bed. I know I feel accomplished for posting just something on my blog. I know that regardless of my destination as a “writer,” I’m in the slow beginning of a journey right now. I will need to develop discipline. I will need to hustle and work harder and set goals. Even though I fear failure, disapproval, and scorn, I will write.