Overcoming the Fear of Judgement as a Writer

Fear of Judgement

 

I write a couple of sentences and then delete them just as fast. They were horrible. No one will ever want to read this garbage. Why do I even bother trying to write? Maybe I’m not meant to be a writer, I have no talent.

 

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you aren’t alone. Every author that ever put pen to paper (or finger to key) has suffered writer’s block at one point or another. Even Ernest Hemingway would complain that he suffered writer’s block on a daily basis because of his feeling that his readers’ huge expectations were weighing on him.

 

The biggest cause of writer’s block

Most people don’t realize it, but writer’s block usually has nothing to do with the lack of creativity, or the lack of ability. Most of the time writer’s block is caused when we begin worrying that our writing won’t be good enough.

 

You begin to feel that you’re going to fail. The irony of it is, the more you need your writing to be amazing, the less it will be. The cure for this is to stop planning and worrying about being published and let your imagination take over to produce whatever it feels. Train yourself to believe that you’re writing only for yourself and no one else will ever see it.

 

By removing the pressure, and convincing yourself to not care so much about whether or not your writing is good enough, writing becomes fun again and your creativity begins to flow.

 

They’re more afraid of you then you are of them

Ok, it’s true, this statement is usually meant for when a vicious animal is snarling at you, but the same is true in this case as well. What makes you think that you’re the only person in the world afraid of being judged?

 

Everyone is afraid of being judged, however, some people are just better at hiding it than others are. So, you aren’t alone, everyone out there would be reacting the same way if they were in your shoes.

 

There are several big time authors out there that have said, after they have published their tenth bestseller or accepted another award, “I don’t deserve this, there are plenty of authors better than me out there.”

 

Ignore the haters

One of Mom’s famous sayings is still just as difficult to achieve, but it’s a very helpful suggestion. It may be true that one nasty review has a tendency to overshadow twenty compliments, however, for no other reason than keeping your sanity through life you owe it to yourself to learn to just ignore nasty remarks.

 

Learn from helpful criticism and learn from compliments as well, but nasty, unproductive comments serve no purpose, so just don’t even waste your time with them. Notice I said learn from helpful criticism. None of us are perfect and helpful criticism shouldn’t be considered a nasty comment or taken as a failure, but as a valuable lesson that you can use to improve yourself and your writing.

 

I truly hope these suggestions help you even a little. Most times it’s easier said than done, but if you can just learn to relax and write for yourself you will not only be a much more productive writer but a much happier and healthier one.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you.

How to Become a Better Writer

Better Writer.jpeg

 

 

I could’ve easily titled this article, “How to Become a Great Writer”, however, being a great writer isn’t really relevant. And, you know, as well as I do, you need to walk before you can run. So, odds are my blog article most likely will not hold the secret to literary success.

 

It’s more important to be the best you can at whatever you do, especially writing. Anyone can write a book. If you have a good story, a good imagination and are great at editing, you are well on your way to being a great writer. I also don’t mean to imply that with these three abilities alone you will be a great writer.

 

Here are some tips I’ve put together to help you hone your skills and put you on the right track to becoming the best writer that you can be, which makes you a great writer to you.

 

You don’t need to write in any certain order

The most important thing to do is to write. You don’t need to write your story from beginning to end, in that specific order.

 

Obviously, a story is meant to be read from beginning to end. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be written that way. Go with what works for you, just write. If you have an idea for writing the middle of the book first, go for it.

 

Then fill in the other parts and chapters as they come to you, even if you write the ending next and then the beginning. Don’t hinder your artistic abilities with a regimented process.

 

Have two or more irons in the fire

In regards to writer’s block, it isn’t a bad idea to work on more than just one story at a time. Work on the one story until you hit a road block, then maybe you’ll have ideas for the second until you figure out how you want to proceed with the first. This way you are always working, always thinking, always creating.

 

Just Write

Don’t worry about mistakes while you’re writing, just write. If your word processor draws attention to misspelled words (a red line under errors), turn it off. It is much more important to get your thoughts down on paper (screen) than it is to edit the document as you go.

 

Even if you edit the content as you write it, you will still find more mistakes when you are doing your editing after you’re finished writing. Worrying about your grammar distracts your train of thought. It’s much more important to get all of your thoughts out, then having all your words spelled correctly.

 

Ask for, and welcome criticism

Toughen your skin, successful writers aren’t sissies, they are gladiators! Find yourself a professional writer or editor and ask them to look at your work with a critical eye. Watch out for friends and family because they will, most likely, not want to hurt your feelings, whether intentionally or not by telling you where your mistakes are and what you need to change.

 

No one is born with a silver pen in their hand, being a great writer takes time, perseverance and an education from the good old school of hard knocks.

 

I can guarantee that your first piece will not be a masterpiece, however, if you love to write and really want to tell your story, don’t give up. I can tell you this with authority because, as with most writers, I’m living proof of what I’m telling you.

 

You want someone to give it to you straight, no sugarcoating. Even if they need to be cruel, the important thing is that you get the point, make the changes and, most of all, learn from the mistakes.

 

Create your own workspace

You need a place where you can go that is all business, no TV, no radio, no one else. It’s trendy to take your laptop to a coffee shop and write. Being trendy isn’t going to get your book written.

 

It is much more important to have an area, or room that is all business. A place set aside for only writing and nothing else and your time spent there should only be used for writing. You need a place with a door to shut the world out for the amount of time you have to dedicate to your art.

 

Manage your time wisely

Set aside days and times to write and stick to them, just like any other job. To some, your writing time will be seen as “flexible time”, nothing could be further from the truth. When you decide on your writing time, it needs to be sacred and just as important as any other obligation you have in your life. Your writing time shouldn’t be negotiable.

 

By no stretch of the imagination are these six tips all you need to become a successful writer. Writing is hard work, don’t let anyone tell you any different. However, they will help to get you started on the right track and with patience, perseverance and a sense of purpose, you will become the best writer you can be. If you love to write it will come through on the pages.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you.

“9/11 was an Inside Job” Article Promoted by Facebook

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Anyone who uses Facebook has noticed the trending news sidebar. This is theoretically supposed to be a list of topics users are currently discussing. However, the feature came under attack in June when Gizmodo reported on its supposed liberal bias.

In August, Facebook fired their human editors and replaced them with what most wrongly thought to be purely algorithmic curation. But, instead they shifted to a team with more “technical skill-sets.”

Surprisingly, the situation only got worse when Facebook featured an article on the trending news sidebar that claimed to discuss footage revealing that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were actually a planned demolition on the Anniversary of the terror attacks.

In other words, just short of their 13th birthday they figured, as any 13 year old might, that this was informative trending news topic.

While Facebook attempted to blame the debacle on algorithms, it was, in fact, a more human issue. According to the company’s press release, while humans on the trending news team review topics, they mostly work to make sure that the topics in question correspond to “current news events.”

Facebook’s trending news staffers are supposed to follow a multistage set of guidelines for accepting a topic. For example, during the NBA Finals curators wouldn’t promote an article about LeBron James, as a trending news article, just because he was playing in the game.

They would only accept an article about him if he did something significant in the game, like making a “game-winning shot in Game 2 of the finals.”

It’s not easy to understand how such an offensive article about 9/11 made it past the diligent trending news team. Although, it may be possible that the Facebook employees were trying to counteract the continuous claims of bias by showing both sides of the issue.

Unfortunately, in this case, the other side of the issue may not only be offensively wrong, but may even be unbalanced.

For now, however, Facebook has done what any other company, that has posted something offensive has done, they removed the “trending news” article.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the trending news topic wasn’t active any longer in  Slate:

“We’re aware a hoax article showed up there and as a temporary step to resolving this we’ve removed the topic.” It seems possible that Facebook trending itself won’t be long for the world either. We’ll just have to wait and see.