I Know What Stops You from Writing

by | Nov 20, 2017 | Writing Tips



I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
And she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
And she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
Or not wear nail polish
And she said honey
She calls me that sometimes
She said you can do just exactly
What you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
My letters
Sweetcakes God said
Who knows where she picked that up
What I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes
Kaylin Haught, ‘God Says Yes to Me’, from The Palm of Your Hand

I know what stops you from writing. The results of the survey I recently conducted revealed that more than lack of time or focus or commitment, FEAR sets up home in our hearts – or sends in any of its ugly relatives: self doubt, dread of failure, anxiety about rejection and ridicule.

Here’s what some of the interviewees wrote:
Not believing in myself
Scared to bare my soul
Internal censorship
Fear of not being good enough
Lack of confidence
Negative criticism… (and the list went on).

Jeez, we need a plan of action to cut our way through this jungle.

First up, I don’t know a single writer who doesn’t have conniptions about self-exposure. There are trolls out there and we have to be smart about how we put ourselves out into the world. However, we’re writers and the algorithm goes like this: FEAR + COURAGE = WRITING. So we have to find something that’s stronger than the fear. Something that pumps a whooshing YES through our veins.

Writing is about saying ‘yes’ to something inside us that is waiting to be expressed.

What do you want to say yes to?


Joanne Fedler

Joanne Fedler

Author, writing mentor, retreat leader. I’m an internationally bestselling author of nine books, inspirational speaker and writing mentor. I’ve had books published in just about every genre- fiction, non-fiction, self-help, memoir – by some of the top publishing houses in the world. My books have sold over 650 000 copies and have been translated in a range of languages. Two of my books have been #1 Amazon bestsellers, and at one point the German edition of Secret Mothers’ Business outsold Harry Potter- crazy, right?

Writing is the act of saying, ‘This is me. Here I am.’ It’s the most radical form of self acceptance.

What do you want to say yes to?

In writing, we only get from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ by touching the parts that hurt until they stop hurting.

What do you want to say yes to?

My writing is my chance to say yes to….

(Print this out and keep it above your computer. Use it as a dreamwriting prompt).

Here’s a SpoonFed writing tip if you need any more encouragement and tricks to help you manage fear:

You are braver than you think. Don’t let fear become your dominatrix.

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1 Comment

  1. Emma

    Thank you. I needed to read this just now.


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