One of the biggest fears that people deal with around creativity is the fear of what other people will think. Many of us try to tell ourselves that we don’t care, but this just isn’t true. We worry that we will be judged or criticized if we put our creative work out there.
Sometimes we’re worried that people will judge our work as inadequate and then we’ll feel like we have no talent as a writer or an artist. Sometimes we’re scared that others will misunderstand us and not grasp the message we’re trying to convey through our work. We might also worry that we will offend family, friends, or even strangers.
Lately, I’ve been hearing from a lot of clients and students that they feel tired of their lives. This isn’t surprising, as we’ve all been in a big energetic cycle of releasing the past for a long while now. Releasing the old is always a good practice, as it helps us move into the new. But a problem that comes along with this process is not always knowing exactly what new thing you want to move into in the future.
Most of us would love to move into a new life full of freedom and creativity. We want to finally start (or finish) the book we’ve been dreaming of releasing into the world for so long, or we want to paint, draw, make music, or create something else of beauty in order to share it with a wider audience.
However, once we start thinking about making these creative dreams come true, we instantly feel afraid, even terrified.
For writers, starting is definitely the hardest part. It’s common for writers to dream about writing their book—and holding their finished book in their hands—for months, or even years. However, when it comes time to sit down at the desk and write those first few sentences, more often than not, that’s when we experience total fear and paralysis.
Why does this happen to writers?
Some writers are plotters (which means they meticulously plot every detail of their novel before they write it), and others are pantsers (which means they plan nothing and fly by the seat of their pants), but what I’ve found after working with hundreds of writers is that most writers fall somewhere between the two. Identifying as a plotter or a pantser is not a black-and-white type of situation. Instead, there are many shades of gray in between.
Since my specialty is in coaching intuitive writers, I’ve had the unique experience of seeing lots and lots of writers who lean toward the pantser side of the spectrum figure out their process. And what I can tell you is that there are many different ways to approach pantsing, and it doesn’t all have to be in a way where you do zero planning.