How To Overcome Writer’s Anxiety (5 Simple Methods)

writer's anxiety

 

You could be the most experienced writer in the world. You could even write for a living. Yet there’s always the thought at the back of your mind that one day the well of creative ideas is going to run dry.

But just like in nature, sometimes it rains, sometimes it pours, and other times you’re facing Sahara.

The wonderful thing about writing and the human mind is that during those “drought” periods, we can do metaphorical rain dances to conjure up a creative storm again.

Writer’s block is usually a result of writer’s anxiety inhibiting our ability to create.

If you’re feeling anxious about your next writing project, here are the top tips to get the creative juices flowing profusely.

 

What Causes Writer’s Anxiety?

 

Writer’s anxiety can strike anyone and results from various psychological factors.

More commonly, it can happen when we’ve spent too much time avoiding an assignment, and now we’re overwhelmed by the time running out on the clock.

Alternatively, a lack of experience with a subject we’re writing about can make us feel like we’re not capable of doing it justice or being entirely truthful.

All creatives can relate to the phenomenon of the imposter syndrome. But being held back by this feeling is a fool’s game, as every experienced writer will tell you.

 

Other reasons you might experience writer’s anxiety:

Sometimes, a writer’s anxiety comes from unexpected life situations. We often occasionally face significant events that preoccupy our time and our minds, and writing is the least of our worries.

If you think you might be struggling with anxiety, consider visiting BetterHelp for resources on how to navigate these feelings.

 

Let’s Explore the Best Ways to Overcome Writer’s Anxiety

 

1. Keep a Journal and Use it for Self-Disclosure

 

leather-bound journal

Even when you do most of your writing on your PC, it is always a good idea to have a journal on hand so no sudden spark of idea would go to waste.

 

Sometimes, you need to practice writing just for yourself, in a safe space, free of judgment from outsiders.

It’s a fantastic way to establish a creative flow throughout your day. It also allows you to be playful with your ideas and take pleasure in writing.

It’s a wonderful tool to escape the association of writing with stressful environments. Carrying it around with you will motivate you to find creative ideas in your daily life and use them later.

Invest in a high-quality, lightweight journal (or even a notepad) and use it to write about your feelings and things you’re grateful for in life.

By doing this, you’ll automatically decrease the feelings of anxiety.

 

2. Engage in Some Form of Physical Activity

 

If you’re someone who’s used to working on tight deadlines, physical exercise only seems like a distraction that delays you from completing your workload.

However, staying in place for hours at a time will stifle your creativity rather than encourage it. This doesn’t mean that you must go to the gym and have the most intense workout of your life every day.

Something as simple as getting in a walk can help your thoughts flow more freely and improve your memory and attention.

A nice walk in nature will light up your whole brain and allow the rays of creativity to come through.

 

3. Come Up with a Low-Stakes Writing Challenge for Yourself

 

put in the work

 

This may be the last thing you want to do, but sometimes one of the few ways to break out of a creative rut is to create a challenge for yourself.

One where you have milestones you need to reach in a certain amount of time works best.

A challenge you attempt to complete with peers can give you the benefit of having people to keep you accountable as you complete this challenge.

A writing challenge can help awaken the dormant competitiveness inside you, so take it. But make sure that a grand reward is waiting for you upon completion.

A night out with friends, a day trip, or an evening at a spa are all waiting for you if you just get your writing project done. Make it simple, make it low-stakes, make it fun.

 

4. Don’t Obsess Over Your First Drafts

 

Picture this: you’ve just spent hours crafting the first draft on a topic you love, and everything is perfect.

If only that were the case for most of us! Sadly, perfect first drafts reside in the realm of myth and fantasy, and that’s okay.

Most of the time, obsessing over first drafts will only stress you out and potentially even slow down the writing process.

Be at peace with the notion that your first draft will not be the final one. Be proud that you could see your draft from beginning to end. That’s a huge accomplishment.

One practical tip is to not switch between writing and editing. When coming up with a first draft, write from your heart, knowing that you’ll make mistakes. They can all be edited later!

 

5. Seek Support From Other Writers

 

writing with friends

You can attend writing workshops or retreats, or simply be with like-minded friends who don’t mind or would even enjoy doing literary exercises with you.

 

Many people out there, stereotype writing as a loner’s game. Whether it’s done in a professional setting or done for pleasure, writing is a highly collaborative art that benefits from the input of various people.

It’s beneficial to receive feedback from more experienced writers that can teach you how to streamline the creative process.

Another great way to do this indirectly is to look at the writing of those that came before you. Examine how they accomplished things you wish to do in your own writing.

However you choose to go about it, writer’s anxiety is only a minor hurdle on your journey to create something great. Don’t let it stop you from doing what you love!

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time blogger, educator, digital marketer, freelancer, editor and content manager. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to achieve freedom from 9-5 through online creativity. My site is a one-stop-shop for writers, bloggers, publishers, content enthusiasts and freelancers who want to be independent, earn more money and create beautiful things. Feel free to check my archive containing over 400 articles and reach out if you need anything. Ah yes, and stay awesome!