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Four Steps To Face Your Fears

October 12, 2021 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , , ,

I wanted to write something encouraging this month and decided to repost one of my earliest posts from this blog titled Face Your Fear, which I wrote in 2017. I have found throughout my writing journey, I’ve had some type of fear hold me back, which manifests itself in taking a hit on my productivity and confidence in my writing. So I thought I would repost and share the four steps to help face your fears.

Four Steps to Face your Fear includes going from emotional to analytical response

Because I truly believe taking time to understand your fears each time they rear their ugly heads, can help you overcome them.

And I need the reminder myself these days.

So without further ado, here is the post.

What’s your biggest fear as a writer?  For some of you, it might be putting the ideas swirling in your mind into actual words on the paper.  For others, it might be pitching your manuscript or creating social media posts.  Whatever it is, we all have them.  And all that fear causes anxiety, worry, tension, panic, despair…you get the idea (we all write characters who struggle with these, right?). If you’re anything like me, my fears prevent me from accomplishing or completing some of my writing goals.

Four Steps To Help Face Our Fears

First, you must identify it.  Write it down.  What’s your biggest fear? Stare it straight in the face.  It’s not so scary once you look at it written out.

Second, define it a bit more.  Add another layer of thought to it.  What specifically about it makes you have fear.  Is it the entire thing or just a part or two.  And then ask yourself, why is it scary for you?

Third, debunk it.  Discover counter arguments to your fear.  Find out from other authors if they have experienced the same fear.  Soon you might realize this is a normal reaction to the process and you might even learn ideas to overcome your fear.

Fourth, push through it. Do one task which causes fear. Ask yourself —what’s the worst that can happen?  Find a writing partner who can encourage you and help challenge you to follow through. Note: You may have to do this part more than once.

My own experiment with facing my writing fears

Step #1

I decided to take a 4 x 6 index card and ask myself what my greatest fear was.  What I wrote surprised me.  In my mind, I had a general overall fear, but when I wrote it down I saw something more specific.

I don’t always sit my butt in the chair and on the surface I tell myself it’s because I don’t have time, but deep down I’m seeing now it might be because I’m afraid.  What if I sit down for an hour session and it isn’t any better than when I started?  What if I only edit through a 600 word block in that time?  I will never finish. And so on and so on….

So, for me, my fear is getting it wrong.  I want to hit the mark and soar with my writing.  I’ve entered a lot of contests and shown my work, and although I get encouraging feedback, I’m still missing the mark.  And I’m afraid it will always be that way.

Step #2

I had to ask myself what specifically about getting it wrong meant. Was it failure? Afraid of what people think?

I don’t think I’m afraid of what people think so much (although I want people to like my work), as I am wondering if what I write will ever be ready to publish. I have lots of ideas, but when I write them down, they don’t sound as great as I thought they were. And I’m afraid no matter how much time I put in, I may never achieve my goal of getting published.

All this fear and doubt affects what I do day to day. How I spend my time. My mental state when I’m writing. And I don’t want it to.

Step #3

Fight back. Who decides if it’s wrong anyway? And how do they decide? Look at how many published authors sent in their manuscript numerous times before it was accepted. It’s just part of the process.

See, by writing it down, I can find counter arguments to what my fear is telling me. And it helps calm down the panic that wants to creep in. It keeps me from letting my fear stop me completely.

Step #4

Step four says to do something to face your fear, so I need to take risks and not be so afraid of doing so. Write a blog post even if it’s not perfect and post it. Write a new scene and show someone. Get feedback and keep trying. If I don’t do any of these things, I let the fear win. There is always going to be more I can add, more to improve, so why am I waiting to hit send? Waiting doesn’t do anything but feed my fear.

Fear keeps us from our goals. Something none of us wants.

For fun, I came up with this acronym. As we know, fear is an emotional response. We need to stop reacting to our fear and work on ways to work through it. So, FACE your FEAR. Fix And Change Every Fear from Emotional to an Analytical Response.

All so we can meet our goals. We all have goals we want to achieve, right?

So take some time and write down what your fear is and then face it. You just might work through that writer’s block you’ve been struggling with.

Hugs & Blessings,

Denise

Denise M. Colby loves to write words that encourage, enrich, & engage. Every year, she chooses a word to focus on. This year her word is Wisdom. If you’d like to see more of Denise’s posts on this blog, you can check out her archives.

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Some Encouraging Words by Kitty Bucholtz

September 9, 2021 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , ,

One of the best parts of coaching and podcasting is encouraging the person I’m talking to. It makes me happy to know I’ve given someone some extra energy and enthusiasm to keep going. I know a few people who are not writers who listen to my Encouraging Words episodes on the first Sunday of every month just because they like them. 🙂

In case you haven’t heard any of these episodes, here is the latest one asking a very important question no matter who you are — Are you focusing on the positive or the negative? I hope it gives you food for thought and gets your day and week moving in the direction that will change your life for the better!

Lots of love and hugs to you!

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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone And Challenge Yourself

July 12, 2021 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , , ,

Have you ever done something out of turn? Just you – where you had to depend on yourself completely? Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself?

Blog header with title Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Challenge Yourself by Denise M. Colby, brown with cream text over old wood background

Not necessarily with your writing, but with yourself.

Possibly going on a trip, or learning a new hobby.

Over the fourth of July, I got this opportunity.

I traveled for six hours by myself, driving to meet my sister to go camping. It’s been a long time since I have been in a car by myself for that much time.

What I found out about myself, was that at first it was uncomfortable. I wasn’t necessarily worried, but it didn’t feel natural. Since Covid hit, my husband and I have run errands or picked up food together. Most of the time, he drives. Rarely have I gone out by myself.

So it felt a little strange and exciting to be loading up and heading out all on my own.

There were moments on my drive where I felt unsure and maybe a little weak. 

But as I kept driving, those unsure moments turned into empowering moments. I sang at the top of my lungs to music I love, and found my mind swelling with creative ideas and thoughts related to my writing and other things I haven’t thought of in a long time.

It was such the confidence boost I needed.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and grew more confident with myself

I found it interesting to have the freedom to allow my thoughts to grow and flourish. Because I wasn’t reacting to anyone else or anyone else reacting to me, I could do that. The time was my own the entire time. 

Which I found very interesting. 

When was the last time, I could finish a thought for myself and see where it led? 

The rest of the weekend was much of the same. Camping, hiking, biking and enjoying nature. I allowed myself to experience as much as possible and when it was time to drive back another six hours, there was more confidence, more thoughts, and more positive emotions coming out of the experience.

Denise M. Colby stepped out of her comfort zone and challenged herself by driving to Mammoth to camp with her sister and hiked Sherwin Lake Trail at 8,269 feet
Camping & Hiking in Mammoth with my sister, was a great challenge that helped my creative side

So many great rewards reaped from the entire experience.

Much like I have gained from this writing experience I’ve embarked on all these years.

I stepped out my comfort zone and learned something about my writing

And a thought occured to me that much like the emotions I experienced on this trip, it was not dissimilar to my writing journey. 

There are many times I feel scared or unsure of what I’m writing or doing with my writing. Where will it all lead? Am I cut out for this? Should I stay or should I go? But like embarking on a new experience, trying something new, builds confidence and empowers us to do more. I have definitely felt that with each blog post I’ve posted, contest I’ve entered, goal or milestone I’ve achieved.

This year I have mostly stopped writing on a regular basis. This is due to the full time day work I’ve been doing, juggling my family, and trying to find balance. Mentally, my creative side was spent. But in stopping, I’m not moving forward and the scary, unsure, and weak moments (i.e. doubts) have popped up again.

And a correlation appeared. Similar to each mile I drove onward during this trip, I need to keep moving forward with my writing so that I can once again be empowered and confident in what I am doing.

So I asked myself…

What was it about the journey that was so empowering?

One of the things I liked about the journey was getting from one position to another. Moving forward. I also liked knowing the rules.

  • Traveling with other vehicles going in the same direction
    • I love sharing the writing journey with other writers
  • Showing courtesy and kindness and friendliness with each vehicle I passed or passed me
    • Cheering on my fellow writers in their own journey encourages me
  • Moving right alongside others
    • Buying a book, writing a review, providing a critique, and checking in on goals means I support you and we are in this together
  • The art of the drive
    • There is much to learn in the art of writing and it’s fun to use what I’ve learned, too
  • The game of counting down miles till I reached my destination
    • Setting milestones and reaching them encourages me to do more
  • Memories of learning by my dads side with how to read maps, understand the road, and know the codes
    • Learning from other writers helps me be a better writer and we have a shared investment in how my journey continues

And last but not least:

  • It’s all about the journey, not just the destination
    • It’s all about the journey – enjoy it and make the most of it – and embrace the little things along the way

I hope you can be encouraged to keep going on your writing journey. I know after this trip, I’m jumping back in and enjoying where I’m at and what I can still accomplish.

Blessings,

Denise

I like to write words to encourage, enrich, and engage. Check out my other posts related to Finding Motivation to Accomplish Your Goals or Why I chose Wisdom for #Myword2021.

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TMI? I Don’t Think So by Kitty Bucholtz

June 9, 2021 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

I’m always teasing my husband that I’d be Dr. Kitty at least once by now if I could go to school as much as I want…which is almost always. Hahaha! I love learning! I know the Internet is full of information — too much information to not get sucked into procrastination mode if you’re not careful — but focused learning is important. It’s good for your brain, and it’s good for your career.

There have been so many great topics on my podcast in the last month that I wanted to let you know so you don’t miss something that could be really helpful for you! As much as I’d love for you to subscribe and listen to every episode (!), be careful not to use “learning” as a way not to act, whether it’s writing or editing or submitting or marketing or any of the many other things we writers must do with our time. But in case you missed something that could help you where you’re at right now, here are links on YouTube to the latest episodes. You can also find them on your favorite podcast app or on the Episodes page of my website.

Episode 247 is an interview with agent Cynthia Ruchti, Are You Ready for a Literary Agent?

Episode 248 is from me asking the question, What Will It Take to Finish Your Book?

Episode 249 is a great discussion between me and writing coach, Ann Kroeker, about How to Find the Right Coach.

Episode 250 (woohoo!! 250 episodes!!) is an interview with author Jody Hedlund on Building Book Buzz.

Episode 251 is one of my Encouraging Words episodes, 5 minutes of encouragement to relax and say, This Isn’t Working For Me, when you feel things are going in a direction you’re not comfortable with.

And tomorrow’s episode, #252, will be super interesting in terms of the mind-body connection when I talk with autistic biohacker Jackie McMillan, Are Creativity and Lymphatic Movement Linked?

If you’re interested in learning more about what I do as a writing coach, you can visit the coaching page on my website, https://www.writenowworkshop.com/writingcoach/. Feel free to reach out with any questions. I love to help! And if you’re thinking of self-publishing, download my free Self-Publish Your Book Checklist, a fillable PDF that will help you organize all the information you need in order to self-publish your book.

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Be Your Own Hero by Kitty Bucholtz

May 9, 2021 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , ,

One of my favorite things to do is create the monthly Encouraging Words podcasts. My even more favorite thing is when someone tells me they were encouraged after listening to it! If you need a reminder that you are special and what you do matters, take a listen to this month’s episode. You are awesome!

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