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The Secret Fear Of Every Writer – And How To Subdue It Every Time

Would You Like to Subdue Your Writing Fears?

Would You Like to Subdue Your Writing Fears?

Do you sometimes sit in front of a blank screen and wonder why your brain just isn’t working?

I can almost hear your response: “all the time”, “in certain situations”.

I think very few writers could respond to that question with a resounding “no”.

I’ve had two conversations this week with would-be writers. The first believes he could write, with just a little practice, but finds every time he sits down that he just doesn’t know where to begin.

The second would love to write, but believes the craft is reserved for those who are ultra creative and talented, so she doesn’t even try.

Both those attitudes scream fear.

Most of us recognize and understand this fear. It’s a fear of the unknown. We feel it when we take a new route in life. And if the fear is successful in overpowering us, we back-pedal right away.

But what about those of us who aren’t new to writing and still feel fear?

 

Removing the ‘Fear of Failure’ band-aid

 

Fear is talked about a lot in the writing world.

Often we’ll apply a one-size-fits-all Band-Aid, and blame our fear on a momentary lack of inspiration or writer’s block, which may well be the case on some days. But more often than not, we’re dealing with the kind of fear we won’t admit to, or may not even be aware of.

The fear I’m talking about isn’t to do with writer’s block or lack of creativity.

It’s about believing we have something worthwhile to say.

 

Comparison—the thief of creativity

 

When we doubt the worth of our words, it’s a pretty safe bet that we’re comparing their value to the words of other authors and bloggers. Comparison is deadly, yet it seems to be inherent in human nature.

If we look at what other writers have to say and value it above our own work, we create a barrier between the page and our authentic words. It’s a paralyzing barrier.

The healthiest type of comparison is to compare our work with our previous efforts and try to build on that.

 

Why we don’t talk about it

 

We don’t talk about this hidden fear because if our life is writing, then everything we are is wrapped up in what we have to say. If we doubt what we have to say, don’t we then doubt who we are?

Well, no.

Every writer –every person who shares their art—doubts the value of their work at some point in their career. But doubting what we do is different from doubting who we are.

 

To write is to take risks

 

Every time we sit down to write, we take a risk.

–          We risk our words being rejected.

–          We risk our work being compared to others’.

–          We risk revealing parts of ourselves we may not want others to see.

That’s the nature of creativity; we’re sharing a part of ourselves. And sharing who we are is always risky because it makes us vulnerable.

But we keep going, encouraged by our audience and ignited by our passion.

That doesn’t mean we’ll always deliver according to expectations, be it the reader’s or ours.

 

When an audience is waiting for your words

 

Every artist has off days.

Think of your favorite musician. I bet you can think of a few songs or even albums that haven’t made it to the iTunes popularity bar; the ones that didn’t really inspire you.

Even well-known authors have books that don’t harvest the reviews they may be expecting.

I’ve seen it happen. I’ll pick up a book by an author I like and there’s a certain expectation. But sometimes I feel let down. I think, “This is not good. Not up to their usual standard. How did this even get past an editor?”

Sometimes we can become complacent with our writing. Often the reader will forgive. At other times it may result in a big fat ‘F’.

The scenario we feared actually happens. It’s normal. Not all of our work will be received with open arms.

The question is: how will we take that experience and use it to better ourselves as artists?

 

Connecting with your reader

 

Reaching that place of vulnerability after a setback, or even doubting the value of our words, is a good thing. It puts us back on track and helps us to re-evaluate our goals.

The last thing we want as writers is to be sitting up a tree far out of reach of our audience. In that place, we are unable to hear what they want or need from us.

But when we sit in the fear, ground ourselves, and hang out with the people who scare us the most, we are forced to listen. And then we write what we believe will be valuable for our readers.

If your reader has come to value your words, they will keep valuing them—unless you deliver something completely off the wall that doesn’t align with your voice, style, or who you are.

 

Writing through the fear

 

Writing takes courage.

Of course if you’re writing an article about French cuisine or fitness, it’s not such a courageous feat. But if neither topic is your passion, then that’s not where your fear is going to be either.

If you’re passionate about recycling, you’re going to inspire others to be passionate about recycling. Your best work is where your passion lies.

With passion comes emotion. And with emotion comes vulnerability.

If you embrace openness in your writing you’ve done the best you can do. Your only responsibility is to say what’s in your heart and be true to yourself, your audience, and your subject.

After that the world can do what it likes with your words.

 

Do you sometimes compare yourself to writers you admire? When you doubt the value of your words, what helps you write through the fear? Join the conversation in the comments below!

 

About the author:

Claire De Boer is an author, editor and creative writing mentor living in Vancouver, BC. She blogs at www.clairejdeboer.com and is currently offering a limited time only free critique for writers.

Image: Secret fear courtesy of Bigstockphoto.com

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72 thoughts on “The Secret Fear Of Every Writer – And How To Subdue It Every Time”

  • I found myself nodding along to this post as I read. Writing is difficult, and it’s hard to put yourself out there sometimes. At this point, I don’t really fear that my writing isn’t good. What I fear is that I won’t be able to come up with a creative idea or be articulate enough to give it the meaning I intend. I think what’s helped me is that I’ve been able to find my writing voice, so as long as I remain within that voice I can write something worth reading. That’s probably what pushes me past the fear.

    • Ah yes, coming up with those new ideas is often my challenge too. Lately I’ve taken to using writing prompts when I’m faced with a blank page and it nearly always sparks a new idea. Finding your true voice and connecting with your audience is a huge step in pushing past the fear – good for you Amanda!

  • Beth Havey says:

    You rang all the bells and mentioned all the things that go through my mind if and when I want to talk myself out of writing. Which in the end I will never do. I’ll keep at it. Thanks, Beth

  • Rachel says:

    I think the key to getting past the fear is actually having and go then building from there using clever phrases picked up from others writing

    http://www.thepsychiccompany.co.uk

  • Wow, while I was reading this article, I felt as if you were speaking to me. I totally related to everything you wrote. I am constantly comparing myself to other writers and bloggers. I also wonder why anyone would want to read what I write and if I were to write a book, who in the world would read it? I am always telling myself there are tons of writers out there, who needs one more, that one more being me. Everything you wrote is on the money. Thank you for writing it.

    • Hi Pilar,
      I think we can always believe that there’s someone out there more qualified than we are — more talented and more courageous. And maybe its the truth. But who sets the bar? And why shouldn’t any one of us be that person who changes people’s lives with our words? I think that believing we are good enough is the biggest step we can take as writers. If writing is your passion, don’t let anyone (especially not yourself) tell you you’re not good enough :-)

  • Marcie says:

    Another suggestion for subduing your fear is to write daily, even if it’s just journaling. The more you write, the more confidence you gain. You may not immediately share your work with others, but at least you’ll start appreciating the value of your words. No one will appreciate your writings if you don’t.

  • Tammy Rizzo says:

    Thank you for this post; it comes at a time when I desperately need a boost through my fear. I have been given an assignment due in a few days, something that hasn’t happened to me in more years than I care to admit, and my fear of failing this assignment has been paralyzing me. Your words have helped me loosen the grip of that fear, so that I can start to think about what I need to say instead of worrying I won’t be able to say it.

    Thank you again.

    • Hi Tammy,
      I’m pleased this post has been so timely for you and hope it has helped you to move past that paralyzing fear with your assignment. If you’re still struggling, spend a few minutes free writing about your assignment, letting your words flow without putting any pressure on yourself to produce something good. Once you do this it should help you with ideas and into the flow of writing about your topic. Good luck!

  • Comparing myself to other authors hit hard when I was writing my book on happiness in 2008. It was the same year that happiness exploded into books, songs, products, webinars,the focus of a new field of study, positive psychology and all over Oprah.

    My coach helped me get through the intimidation by reminding me that no one could write my view of happiness but me. Thinking that even one person would be helped by my take and tips on happiness propelled me forward and enabled me to finish.

    I find comfort in your closing. Once we’ve true to ourselves through our writing, the world can do what it wants with our words.

    • Hi Flora – thanks for reading :-) I think that last statement does sum it up really, not just with writing but anything in our lives. All we can do is show up with our real selves and do our best. And I think the world needs lots of books about happiness!

  • I really never compare my work with any other writer.
    I sometimes have a day when I am not inspired to write
    but usualy daily I work on something.I feel guilty if I
    don’t write a little at least for I love —to-write and been
    doing so for seven years now.MY first book was
    published 8-22-12.by PUBLISH AMERICA.The title is
    THE SIR DAVID THOMAS SERIES BY RICHARD
    ANTHONY SATTANNI.IT is my first book.IF you
    are interested contact PUBLISH AMERICA.COM
    Thanx/RICH

    • Hi Rich – thanks for reading and congratulations on your first book! Good for you for not falling into that comparison trap. I think it gets easier the more you write, don’t you find?

  • Ronn Jerard says:

    Every comment here resonated with me at some level. I especially related to Amanda’s comment about coming up with creative ideas. Thus, I have written pieces that I have not posted or attempted to sell, simply because I doubt that they are creative enough. But I desperately want to STOP doubting my creativity and that I don’t have anything of value to say. I suspect that I just need to get over it, become courageous, and start sharing who I am through what I write. Thank you for this encouraging post.

    • Thank you, Ronn for your kind words. I have yet to meet a writer who doesn’t doubt themselves and their ability at some point – it seems to be par for the course. The good thing is that you are writing, even if you doubt the quality of the pieces. Are you in a writing group? I find it really helpful when I doubt a piece or an idea to share it among my peers and ask for feedback. Your pieces may be far better than you give yourself credit for.

  • Rebekah Jones says:

    Thank you, Claire! It’s amazing how a capable person – even someone at the top in their field – can be fearful of sharing their written words. Sitting alone in front of a computer screen can be a daunting task. I especially appreciated your comments about writing what we are passionate about and being true to ourselves.

    Just one dislike…not the article you wrote…but the picture of the scared little girl in the corner. At first glance, I thought your article was going to be about the Sally Field movie, Sybil, or perhaps an injustice you learned of on your recent trip to Africa. Just my opinion…doesn’t have anything to do with your written words. :)

    • Hi Rebekah – nice to see you here! I haven’t seen the movie Sybil but appreciate your thoughts around imagery. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find exactly the right image to represent our words and I can certainly see your point.
      I hope you’re staying true to yourself and to your writing :-)

  • One thing I learned – people listen when I talk, therefore they might read when I write. I am still perfecting the craft but as I have never been short of opinions, I seem to have lots to write about. It’s more about finding places to write it so that people will read it. And that is where I come a cropper.
    And yes fear is a problem and not just for writing. The why seems to be really individual and personal and needs to be ICEd. Identified, controlled and eliminated.and that is where the challenge begins

    • Roberta you have some really valid points. Fear creeps into everything we do unfortunately. I find being open about it with others is really helpful because we are often all going through a similar experience.
      I love that you have so much to write about based on your many opinions — I would just keep pushing to find those outlets where your words can be seen. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here :-)

  • “With passion comes emotion. And with emotion comes vulnerability.” –Yup, this explains why I get this paralyzing fear when it comes to writing and putting my work out there. But like you said, it’s just a matter of writing through the fear. :)

    And yes, I compare myself to a lot of writers, and I often think that I should be further along in my career. The main thing that gets me through is to just keep writing anyway. Keep on writing, keep on learning, and don’t let the fear and self-doubt stop you from expressing yourself.

  • I think you have it exactly right Francesca — when the fear comes write through it, and take the pressure off yourself to write something good. I think most of us think we should be further along in our career, unless we have dozens of bestsellers under our belts!

  • Ronn Jerard says:

    Not yet in a group, Claire, but I think that is a logical next step for me. As a result of your question, I will begin to search for a group. I believe, as you suggest, that it will be very helpful for me. And…who knows, some of the group members may be helped by my presence.

  • Patricia says:

    Yes, I will have to thank you, too, for putting this out there. This writing business is like a two sided coin.
    When you put your writing out there, not everyone will applaud. It is really unrealistic to expect everyone who
    reads my book to like it, but somehow, I find myself trying to please everyone, which I know is impossible. I ask myself why are you doing this? And I cannot find the answer. I just feel this need to tell these stories. I don’t know who might like it, but if just one person likes it, even if that one person is me. I am writing it. I don’t think I have an audience now, but I will really feel bad, if there is an audience out there that might benefit from what I have to say. I don’t know when, but maybe in the future, but I was too afraid to write about it.

    • Love your attitude Patricia. I too feel that if I can entertain or help someone through my words, even if its just one person, I’ve done my job. And this is great: “I just feel this need to tell these stories.” When you feel that need I don’t think anyone or anything can hold you back :-)

  • Phil Kimmins says:

    Claire, on writing, Charles Bukowski pontificates that unless it roars out of you, don’t do it. Well, the last time I roared was when I walked into my hardwood coffee table in the dark. I disagree with Bukowski but many professionals advocate harnessing one’s passion and to a laconic, phlegmatic melancholic such as myself, this advice sometimes places me like a rabbit in a spotlight – frozen. My fear is that one day I will stay frozen, waiting for my personality to adopt the sanguine before the bullet hits. I always recover from these “Where’s Waldo?” moments re. my hidden passion because I’ve decided that passion comes in all sizes and the fact that my size does not require blood pressure medication pulls me through. That and theknowledge that I have all the words – all I need to do is sort them into good order and not drink too much. But that’s a fear of a different stripe.

    • Wow! That’s almost an essay in itself, Phil! I also agree that Bukowski has it wrong. I think words come out of each of us in different ways and I know few writers who roar their way onto a page. Clearly you have the words — just keep writing your way through it and yes – try not to drink too much :-)

  • A couple of months ago, I had author Kristine Millar guest post for me on my site, in an article called “The Silent Struggles of the Writer – Can You Survive or Thrive?

    Fear is the most common reason for why we, as humans, do not pursue our dreams, whatever they might be.

    Fear is what life coaches focus on when trying to help you.

    Fear can be debilitating.

    Being fearless is liberating, and I think that this post will help many people!

  • Fear can be debilitating for many people.

    Fear is what life coaches focus on when helping you try to identify and reach your goals.

    Fear and writing often go hand in hand, and I think that it’s great that you have offered some great advice here!

  • Thanks Lorraine! I hope my words were helpful to you and that you’ll write your way through any fears you may have :-)

  • Evelyn Lutz says:

    The only time I had that “fear” was not in front of a blank screen–it was before there was such a thing. I was 89 last Tuesday and it was in high school at an old typewriter wondering what in the world I’d have to write about for an English class assignment. I actually hated writing then. Years later, after I was married, I started writing for newspapers in little towns because a young friend asked me to write about her wedding. I had no idea I could just go to the paper and fill out a form. Instead, I bought the three Detroit Sunday papers to see how weddings were written. I wrote two different accounts for the two ilttle local papers. Soon, they were asking me to write for them! Bye the way, that was in 1950 at the huge rate of ten cents an inch. From then on, I never lacked for something to write about. I was a photo-journalist for over 50 years and a columnist into my 80s.(until my husband became ill and I cared for him). He’s gone now and I write family, church and business histories. What an interesting life.
    Evelyn Lutz, Holly, Michigan

  • Such an interesting life Evelyn! Have you written your memoir yet?

  • Raphaël Crevier says:

    Hi !

    Great article… I just wanted to say though that the picture of a frighten 12 years old to illustrate this text is a little creepy.

    • Vinita Zutshi says:

      Raphael, thank you for the feedback.

      I’d like to clarify that this is a picture of a young woman in her mid-twenties.

      Vinita Zutshi,

      Guest Post Editor, Write to Done

  • I can’t agree less to this post. That is why it is important for a writer to come out of the box. Travel, meet other people and try new things to experience so we won’t ran out of something to say… :)

  • Reading this thoughtful post one quote came to mind by Theodore Roosevelt who said “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” I think this is a very encouraging quote for every write who’s afraid of making a mistake or failing. You can always get back on your feet and try again and again and again… as long as you succeed. And those who just criticize you or think you’re crazy for even trying… well, they’ll never experience the great rewards that are bound to come your way for persevering. Thanks for sharing this with us Claire!

    • Steven, thanks for sharing that quote – it’s one of my personal favorites and very encouraging to read during those times when we doubt ourselves and our ability.

  • Really inspiring words, Clare! They remind me of the first time I shared my earliest fiction with a writers’ group. I knew my turn was coming up soon and I thought my heart was going to leap out of my throat! To read one’s work to others is like laying your soul bare for all to see. I read it and when they liked it I think that was the greatest feeling of validation. Sharing with other writers on a regular basis is definitely one way to overcome fear and getting used to real, constructive criticism is a hurdle that all writers need to cross.

    • Hi Marjorie – I remember that first time I had to share my work with a group also – it’s so hard to be vulnerable like that. And I agree that writing in community is the best way to overcome those fears and to grow your work. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Sarah O. says:

    Great article! I am feeling almost every single one of these fears right now as I sit down to write out the ultra crappy first draft of my first novel (that I’ve been planning for years.) Talking it out with my sister helps a lot but seeing that so many other writers feel the same way is comforting. The biggest fear for me is wondering what people will think of me when they see what I write so I hold back a lot. Getting out of that box I’ve trapped myself in is really difficult.

    • Sarah, I think first drafts are by their very nature ultra crappy. Just get it all on paper and don’t worry about it. Once you have it all down, then you can work some magic. Read that Roosevelt quote posted by Steven – it’ll give you a confidence boost :-)

  • Ronn Jerard says:

    Steven, wonderful post and quote by Teddy Roosevelt. Very inspiring. Thank you.

  • Liz says:

    Hi Claire,

    I think we’ve all compared ourselves to others at one time or another. That could be a good thing as long as it helps up improve, but the second it makes us feel inadequate or diminishes our self worth then then we need to reverse our thoughts.

    The thing about writing is you’ll naturally improve if you can stay with it. I find that reading more helps with my writing. It opens you up to new ideas and ways of looking at things. It’s that personal expansion of ideas that helps you be a better writer.

    One thing that helps me is to write daily. Most of that writing never goes anywhere, I just write to get my thoughts out and then look back at it for how I might improve it. That’s good practice for me and it doesn’t take long, maybe 15 or 20 minutes at the start of my day.

    Thanks for the insight Claire,
    Liz

    • Hi Liz – I think you have exactly the right attitude and practice. Writing every day is HUGE, as is continuing to read on a regular basis. And I don’t think it matters if we never use those ramblings we come out with during a free write, because that practice is critical to the craft of writing, kinda like exercising our writing muscles.
      If we write regularly and through the fear we WILL improve and that fear will eventually subside. Thanks for joining in the conversation :-)

  • I’ve just written to Claire to thank her for this brilliant article. As I wrote to her, it came along *after* I’d worked my way through my performance anxiety on my own. One to clip and put in the commonplace book for future reference. As always, I’m so glad I subscribed to WtD.

  • All of the Write to Done posts inspire me to gather my thoughts and sow them into a public format, which is a brand new thing for me to do. Claire’s post is a particularly calming voice, this morning, as I gather my wits to make preparation for another weekly post. I am so grateful for having stumbled upon Write to Done. I can’t even remember how I discovered you, but I thank the powers that be that I have! Zella Mai

  • Bravo, Claire–superb advice!

    I’m late arriving (vacation) and so had to overcome the fear that I’d have nothing new to add to this discussion (seriously!).

    Unless you are standing at the very top of the heap in your area of expertise, there will always be plenty of someones out there who are “better” or more successful than you are right now. But they didn’t start that way, did they? I have to keep reminding myself of that fact.

    Best of luck with your own endeavors, Claire. Hope you end up “buried” in critique requests! Well done.

  • Ronn Jerard says:

    I have continued to read all the comments made here by some incredible people. I’m happy to call myself a writer, and to be in the company of such inspirational writers. Claire, thank you for this wonderful article and the subsequent discussion. I have not added to my original comment because I have been so jazzed that I have finally started writing a short story, which I HAD been fearful to write. True, it is not yet completed, but my renewed commitment to write daily fills me with confidence and encouragement. Thanks again, Claire.

  • Thank you so much for this! I keep coming back to reread it.

    The line, “Every artist has off days.”, may well be my mantra for a while.

    It helps me in two ways:
    1) It makes me realize that I, happily, cut slack for writers and musicians I admire. I don’t expect a #1 best seller or a chart-topping song every time. In fact, the work that speaks most to me is often the piece the critics didn’t like, or that didn’t make it as a single.
    Why the heck am I expecting so much of myself?
    2) Thinking sympathetically of other artists puts me in the shoes of a peer, rather than a lowly admirer. I’m noticing that this is an important distinction.

    Thanks for your empowering work. I appreciate it.

    • Thank you Susan for your comments. It’s true that we place far more expectation on ourselves than we do on others. I think it’s time to relieve the pressure and just enjoy the journey :-)

  • Jo says:

    It has been so interesting to see how many people resonated with everything you wrote. Creativity and anxiety seem to go hand in hand. Self doubt makes us analyse the reason why we write and how we say it. I used to feel very self conscious about seeing my work in print. Now I accept that sometimes ‘this is as good as I can be today’. When writers block strikes I just write whatever comes to mind accepting that I will edit it out later. I find that thoughts begin to flow again, sometimes producing an article completely different to what was intended.
    Above all, writing is a pleasure without which life would be miserable. Many write better than I. My dream is to be able to craft pieces with rythm and harmony like music. I must keep trying.

    • Hi Jo – it sounds like you are in a great place with your writing fear – you have learned to walk through it and know what to do in the face of it. I love the attitude of ‘”this is as good as I can be today.”
      Thanks for reading and commenting :-)

  • This is exactly what I’ve been struggling with. My frustration reached a point that led to a particularly angry blog post. It freed me to create. Maybe not the recommended way to do it, but it worked. I don’t believe people understand how frightening it is to put yourself out there. But I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t write. It’s a part of who I am.

  • Exactly, Linda. I think the fear of never writing at all is bigger than the many different fears than accompany the process. I love that your frustration led you to write from the heart, whether you were angry or not :-)

  • Fantastic article, full of inspirational words and positive thoughts for the writer. The more you write about your passion, the more vulnerable you are. But the less you write about your passion, the less interesting you will become.

  • Isabel Johnstone says:

    This is so timely for me! I recently went through a traumatic time when my son was gravely ill and it left me feeling negative and unsure about everything. I especially related to the point about comparing yourself with others. Love it and thanks, I feel re-inspired.
    Isabel

    Here is a blog I wrote about the experience.

    http://isabelj327.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/bloggers-beware.html

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  • David Sanford says:

    Thanks for this helpful article on overcoming fear, which definitely resonates with me having helped successful individuals publish their first books more than 100 times in the past decade.

    Along the way I have worked with some of the most interesting and successful people in the world. You may be an entertainer taking home $35,000 per hour. You may be a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. You may be a Wall Street corporate merger guru. Still, you have to understand, quickly recognize, and know how to defeat the top 5 professional fears. They are:
    1. The fear of silence
    2. The fear of sharing
    3. The fear of selling
    4. The twin fears of rejection and failure
    5. The fear of success

    Not surprisingly, most (not all) successful individuals initially assume they are the exception to the rule. “Fear? Who me? No way.”

    “No fear” isn’t just a Millennial motto for the adventurous. It’s a way of life. I know all this, yet yesterday I got hit with 1 of the 5 professional fears and responded 180 degrees opposite of what I know to do in such situations.

    I still believe “No fear” is a way of life, but it’s an imperfect way. Every time we give into fear, we need to humbly acknowledge it, remind ourselves what to do next time, and then move toward that “next time” as quickly as possible.

    –David Sanford, http://www.linkedin.com/in/drsanford

  • Frida says:

    Oh thank you very much Madam.

    Your words are revelation to me. I write from time to time, about anything, not for the sake of writing but I am inspired. Sometimes an image or an issue forces my brain to look for an answer and it becomes inspiration to write in view of providing that solution. The answers flow from within and push me to write. I stopped a couple of weeks ago because I became uncomfortable with my writing. First because I did compare my works to others, and my second most important issue was that I sometimes misuse punctuation- and it starts with the commas especially. I also have a slight problems with word associations and vocabulary :

    for instance if I am writing about fire in my article, I should use words like “douse” instead of making long sentences like “pour water over…” or “blaze” instead of ” a very large fiercely burning fire…” etc etc.

    Saying that does not mean that I cannot use long sentences in my article, but only where needed to give it a shape and more meaning or lay emphasis on something where my reader will get the message in their HEART/S, but still I always here those words from other writers or journalists:

    “keep it simple and straight to the point.”

    (here also I’m doubtful whether to use heart or hearts, although readers is plural but people still have only one heart)

    Being a born again Christian, I had an encounter with God and discovered my purpose. My view of the world changed, and I have so many things to share with others but my doubts about my writing are becoming a hindrance.

    I would be much grateful if you could advise me. I do read a lot and I am also following courses with an independent well established college in the UK (London College of Journalism) on Feature Writing. I still need some more advice and a different opinion.

    Thank you very much

    • Hi Frida,

      If you are just getting started with writing I wouldn’t worry to much about punctuation and sentence structure. I think it’s best to be more concerned with going deep into what you want to say and finding the nuggets of truth in your work. If you worry too much about punctuation and diction you’ll never write. That’s all stuff you can work on when you edit your work. If you’re looking for more in depth help, hop on over to my website and check out my page on one-on-one mentoring :-)

  • TracyL says:

    This is so true, thank you.

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