I’m amazed at how many times I hear people not only say they are afraid to try new things, but they actually avoid trying new things. I knew someone who wouldn’t eat any food he’d never eaten before.
We’re all born with a blank slate. Every thing has a first time (including what we like to eat). Why weren’t we afraid from the very start? Because we didn’t know any better.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Each writer has different strengths and interests and we come about them in various ways. We had to learn how to:
- craft sentences/paragraphs/stories
- come up with ideas
- use a card catalog (dewey decimal) at the library
- do online Internet searches
- understand grammar
- learn writing rules
- and so on
We didn’t one day wake up as writers or have a writing business. Everything is always brand new to us — at first.
Deciding to be a writer is scary in itself, isn’t it? Pursuing writing as a career has it’s own anxiety, too. As time goes on, we develop a skill set and some of us find a niche (or two) that we enjoy. One constant in whatever type of writing we’re pursuing, is that we always need to be looking for new work.
And doesn’t that thought just scare some of us until we break out in a sweat?
Where does the fear come from? Why do we get afraid of a writing project that’s a bit over our heads?
I’ve been there many times, and expect to be there many more. Being a little afraid is how I know I’m continuing to learn, improve, and build upon my current writing skills.
If you have the basic writing skills for a project, you shouldn’t be afraid to use them as a foundation for new work. And if there’s a certain type of writing you are passionate about pursuing, look into formal training through a class or workshop to help you get started.
We all start with a clean/blank slate. It’s up to us, individually, to fill the slate with the skills and experiences we want. Being nervous is a good thing – it means we’re aware and open to possibilities. It means we desire to push ourselves further.
If you don’t feel a little scared, you aren’t stretching yourself.
It’s okay to be afraid of a new writing project or opportunity.
I encourage you to embrace the fear and try the project anyway! I bet more often than not you’ll be happy that you did.
Have you had projects you were you initially nervous about, accepted them anyway, and were positively blown away by the results?
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves writing about NH people, places, and activities. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.