Why it requires courage to write

This is part of a series on “How to Find the Courage to Share the Stories You Are Longing To Tell.”

Today’s post starts the series with thoughts on “Why It Requires Courage to Write.”

Why it requires courage to write

Special thanks to John Klymshyn for this image

I’ve dreamed of writing for years, since I was a child. And I have. Over the last 9 years I’ve written hundreds of articles, blog posts, and newsletters through my coaching business. Before that, I wrote city plans. Before that, my graduate thesis.

But I’ve always dreamed of writing a proper something — a larger writing project with a definitive end, like a book or a screenplay.

Somehow, I never seemed to find the time to write until recently — just in the last year or so. And now I’m writing on a daily basis, soon to finish my first feature length screenplay.

What I didn’t understand, until now, was that my lack of writing WAS NOT tied to all the things I believed about what it would take for me to write, like that I needed more time, better ideas, sudden divine inspiration, the proper writing space, a better computer, or any of the other things I was telling myself.

Instead, I discovered that what was going on at a deeper level was that I was afraid. I was afraid to write.

And this is what I’ve seen with many people who say they want to write but aren’t doing it.

Just like me, they are afraid.

Common fears

If you have fear coming up around writing, you might be experiencing some of these common concerns I hear from writers:

  • You’re afraid the writing you’re longing to share isn’t serious, artistic, engaging, funny, clever, dramatic, or fill-in-the-blank enough.
  • You’re afraid that you’ll embarrass yourself if you put your words out there for other people to see.
  • You’re afraid that you won’t be able to do a good enough job telling your stories — you won’t be able to do them justice and you’ll let your ideas down.
  • You’re afraid you won’t be able to come with good ideas.
  • You’re afraid that other people will be hurt if you write things they don’t like. You’re afraid they will see themselves in your stories and be offended.
  • You’re afraid you don’t know how to write well enough, but you don’t give yourself the chance to learn how because you believe that writing requires innate talent and that if you had it, you’d already be writing.
  • You might even be afraid that your best work is already behind you.

What you need to understand is that these fears are ONLY fears. Nothing more, nothing less. They MAY come true, we may fall on our faces and have to pick ourselves up again, just like my son did on his way to school this morning.

You also need to understand that these fears are your ENEMIES. They are the enemies to your dream of writing, and courage is your antidote.

Your turn

What does this illuminate for you? Share your responses in the comments.

And stay tuned for the next post in this series coming your way tomorrow, “How to Spot the Stealthy Smokescreens that Stop You From Writing.” Watch for it on the blog or subscribe here.

About the Writer’s Circle

I inspire writers to find the courage to share the stories they are secretly longing to tell but are afraid won’t be heard or welcomed. If you’d like company on your writer’s journey, I want to invite you to join the next session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle, which starts this coming Monday, February 20th. In the Writer’s Circle, you’ll find the peer support and accountability you need to find the courage you need to see your writing through. Registration closes THIS THURSDAY, February 16th.

Find out more and register here: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

“I would have really struggled to do this without this writer’s group.”

I loved the community, and how quickly it came together. It made such a difference to have that support and it was so good to take the isolation of writing away. I love that my writing has quickly started to establish into my daily routine. I would have really struggled to do this without this group. I’m more creative, more productive, and starting to identify as a writer… it’s so exciting! If you’re considering this course, GO FOR IT!!!
~ Rebekah Shepherd, Yoga teacher, Writer, www.soulnicheyoga.com


  1. I’ve always had the words. I know what to say. I’m metaediting my book right now. This is an intense process in which I’m finding myself impatient because I want to get to the next book but I don’t to be in too much of a hurry.

    • Good for you! I’m so glad you are writing and editing away. I know what you mean about feeling impatient. I’m already working on three more scripts in my mind. :)

  2. I am a perfectionist, so the fear of it not being good enough is the one I am usually up against. Writing free form morning pages has been really helpful with this because I now know if I can just start writing, I can usually figure out what is stumping me on my writing projects. But I constantly have to recognize when my perfectionism is stopping me from moving forward. You are so right about it taking courage to write.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I started on a writing project 5 years ago which is becoming the size of Mt Everest. I have no problems whatsoever with inspiration, discipline or creative blocks!!! The work has come to crisis point many times where I threaten to delete the thing off my computer once and for all – and then a solution comes and I’m off again. It’s become part of me.
    My problem is that I am a sensitive person who has more fears and blocks about Real Life than about by internal creative world. Writing/Life balance is an issue. I am trying to get ideas as to how to start earning $ from my writing/art rather than from jobs that bore me silly.
    I’m trying to find some mentorship for getting projects out into the competitive $$$ world – navigating this scary, competitive, money driven world – finding someone who won’t be cruel to my work – really relate to the feeling that I’m birthing a baby!! I’m in love with this baby, I want to see it born – but to continue I need the feedback. How to find the courage for other people to READ the thing … before I get too deep in it, then release it into the world and find out it’s all just a load of crap! …
    Basically I’m not obeying Rule 1. “Start Small.”!!!!

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