A Life Story Writer’s 10 Most Common Fears

Taking on a life story writing project means stepping out of your comfort zone. It means trying to push the bar a little higher. It means putting yourself on the line. It means stress. Isn’t there enough of that already? Why add more? Why write? The answer is found in this anonymous quote: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Let’s look at the top ten common fears life story writers face when we confront the blank page.

Fear of Inadequacy
Fear of Criticism
Fear of Success
Fear of Getting Started
Fear of Commitment
Fear of Having Nothing to Say
Fear of Being Too Old
Fear of Exposure
Fear of Too Much Work
Fear of Rejection

That’s enough to scare just about anyone off writing; anywhere, anytime! For each of us, there will likely be one or two key fears that stand out from this list. Often it is a combination of two fears, those of having nothing to say, and getting started. But what about fear of success? Who wouldn’t want that? Incredibly, many people don’t wish that upon themselves. That raises the stakes. Success might throw them even further out from their comfort zones.

So let’s look at how we can throw some cold water on these fears and put them out for good. Here are five ways you can challenge them. These can all be found in our book, Writing Your Legacy.

Face Your Fears
Which of the above fears are they? Name them. Call them out. Then start writing. None of them are going to hurt you. They are in your mind.

Take it One Step at a Time
Feeling fear means that you are projecting yourself into the unknown future. Step back into the present moment and start writing.

Connect With Your Intended Readers
Who are you writing for? Your family? Future generations? This is your gift to them. It will become a valuable document for them. It will be appreciated.

Accept the Possibility of Failure
The only real failure is to not even try.

Find Your One and Only
Is there one person in your network who will offer unconditional support while you write? He or she need not read your work – but merely offer encouragement and sometimes, a gentle push forward.

In his book ‘You Don’t Have to be Famous: How to Write Your Life Story,’ Steve Zousmer suggests a unique way to deal with your fear. “Pick something you know you can write without bogging down…anything that gets you moving. Before long, probably without realizing it, your writing muscles will loosen…

One last piece of advice: You are the expert in all things you. No one else can write your life story better than you.

Richard Campbell

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