4 things that stop you writing: #1 The Fear of Ridicule

Tom Evans is the author of Blocks: The Enlightened Way to Clear Writer’s Blocks. Follow him on Twitter at @thebookwright.

In my work helping authors blast their blocks over the last few years, the same issues come up time after time.


These same issues plague all creatives from artists to musicians. For a business that is trying to be creative in times of adversity, they may also have a detrimental impact. They are:

  • The fear of ridicule
  • The fear of failure
  • The fear of the unknown
  • The fear of success.

#1: The Fear of Ridicule

This is really common. The best way to avoid being ridiculed for your writing is not to write anything at all. Our unconscious minds protect us from harm by inventing loads of ways for us to avoid being ridiculed.
Signs that this is happening in your life are:

  • Procrastination
  • Being a busy fool
  • Loads of half written manuscripts, chapters or ideas for blogs

A classic trigger for this might be a teacher marking down an essay you wrote at school.
The simple way around this is to start writing and ‘publishing’ small bits of work and discovering that you don’t get shot down in flames.
The good news is there are loads of really good and supportive places online to do this – such as the Six Sentences Social Network where you tell a story in just, well, Six Sentences.
If you feel particulary creative, you can also try a Six Word Story in the Hemingway style – “Baby shoes. For sale. Never worn.”
You can of course use your own blog or even Twitter a story out 140 characters at a time.
Local writers groups are also a good place to find your feet. There are also loads of short story and poetry competitions out there.
The main key to dealing with this fear though is to see all criticism as positive. By using glass half full mentality for example, you can take feedback from readers and use it to hone your work so that, when it does come out in print, it will be both error free and more readable.
Next week: The Fear of Failure.

Image by tomsaint

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Tom Evans

Tom Evans is a published author and poet who also mentors other authors in the writing and publication process. He is a specialist at curing both writer's and author's blocks - and yes, they are different. He works with clients on a one-to-one basis and runs regular Blockbusting workshops. He teaches the principles of whole brain and whole mind thinking and how to get our minds into the state where they can tap into unlimited creativity. Follow him on Twitter at @thebookwright.

2 thoughts on “4 things that stop you writing: #1 The Fear of Ridicule

  • 19th April 2010 at 1:33 pm
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    How about learning to Love your Fear? They are only there to let you know there’s something you need to address – embrace the fear, learn from it and welcome the next one – you will be amazed at the results. And hey, you can even write a book about the whole process too !!!

  • 16th April 2010 at 9:46 am
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    Fear of Fear is the biggest problem for all writers. We need to learn to ignore the voice, write and then pitch. Often we let our own voice defeat our projects way before they have a chance to succeed.

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