Hello, friend. You might be here because you’re trying to write a scene, or revise a chapter, or just type out a couple words, and it’s hard. Grueling even. Maybe you’ve avoided writing for days, or it’s even been years since you’ve opened that manuscript document. The longer you’ve been away from it, the harder it can be to get back into the writing game.
I get it.
I’ll share some of the fears or doubts that pass through my head when I’m actively avoiding writing:
- Who do I think I am? I’m not some great writer. I’m just me. I’m not important enough to publish a book.
- What if it sucks? What if I’m not a good writer at all? I’ll just be wasting everyone’s time.
- This idea has been done before.
- I’m gonna mess this book up. I’ll start with a great idea, but the more I flesh it out, the worse it will get.
- I don’t want to write. It’s hard.
These are all legitimate fears and doubts. The emotions behind them can feel overpowering. Some of these messages might come from our past with painful memories attached. So I’m not here to tell you to suck it up and write anyways. But I do want to say that these doubts about ourselves can be challenged and managed so that we can still succeed in our writing goals.
Having a writing mantra or positive thought to counter the doubtful ones can be a great start. Here are 5 Writing Mantras to help you move past your doubts and get writing again.
1. Wanting to write is reason enough to write.
You don’t have to have any sort of title, background, or training to validate your desire to write a story. Being a writer just means that you write!
2. This draft doesn’t have to be perfect.
In fact, it can be terrible. Write poorly, and you might be amazed at how the gears start moving. When the pressure to perform is removed, suddenly my playful, creative energy shows up and helps the process move forward.
3. I can do hard things.
Remind yourself when you’ve overcome something difficult in the past. Often you didn’t have a choice—you just had to dig deep and make the best of a miserable situation. You found peace and purpose despite difficulty. You can tackle your writing with that same level of energy.
4. If I’m enjoying my story, other people will too.
The number of people out there in the world is truly vast. It’s pretty ridiculous to think that of ALL the human beings on Earth, not a single person would like what you have to offer. Trust that there is an audience for what you’re creating.
5. Just write ___________ today.
Set a bare minimum goal that if you complete, it means you were successful today. It might be to write a single sentence, or to work for 5 minutes. Small accomplishments add up over time. If you don’t have the capacity to make a big move, make a small one, and let that be enough for today.
You can do this. Just keep going!