Before I started blogging I built up a collection of poems and short stories that I rarely showed people. I convinced myself that me not wanting to share the works had nothing to do with fear and that instead I was waiting for the ‘right time’. I would spend a lot of time writing, editing and simply re reading my works, feeling good about myself and building a personal fan club. I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts that there was little room for people to offer their opinions and guidance. As a result I was a closet writer for several years and I found myself writing about the smae things, scared to move out of my comfort zone and stunting my own growth.
You see being scared to write goes beyond the actual act of writing. Putting pen to paper is one part, but having the works read is another. I am not saying that you should show people everything you write. I understand that some works are written for personal reasons and to show them to anyone else would be a huge invasion of privacy. However if you are aspiring to be a published writer, your main goal should be to have your work read because it is only from the feedback that you will know if it will remain a dream forever or become a reality. If you (like me) have built a collection of works that nobody has ever read and yet when asked what your ideal career would be, you say writer then it is time for change!
So how do you overcome this fear? A large part of writing is confidence. Believing in your ability reflects in your writing and the clearer your work will be. Writing is very much an art and like other artists, if you do not have a certain amount of bravado and willingness to take criticism with a pinch of salt then you will find your enjoyment of writing will decrease. You see a large part of the fear is being scared about what people will think and until you decide in yourself that no matter what people say, you will work at becoming better and know that you have something to offer, then writing becomes exciting. Instead of dreading feedback, look at it as a means of gathering opinions and therefore leveraging yourself to do better next time.
Take the plunge!