How to Overcome Writing Anxiety
Have you ever left your pencil studded with marks caused by your gnashing teeth, or worse broken in half? Then you must have experienced writing anxiety. It’s funny how your pen gets the ugly impact of the distress and frustration in writing. Poor pen. But that is not actually how to deal with or even overcome writing anxiety.
Here are some simple but vital tips to overcome writing anxiety:
1. Identify the cause of your anxiety. The first step you need to take to overcome writing anxiety is to determine why you are having such uneasiness.
The following are some reasons of writing anxiety.
- the topic
- the type of writing (essays, research papers, literary pieces, dissertations, documentaries, technical writing, journalistic writing etc.)
- the style
- a fear
- lack or absence of commitment
- lack or absence of enthusiasm
- lack of self-confidence
- lack or absence of knowledge and writing skills
- lack or absence of moral support
- lack or absence of motivation
There are many reasons why you worry or feel hesitant towards writing. You need to know why, so you know how to troubleshoot your anxiety.
2. Study the reasons behind your writing anxiety. One way to overcome writing anxiety is by following the principles behind the process of solving a math problem; you need to analyze it first before you could derive at the correct technique or strategy, the formula and eventually give the right answer.
The above mentioned reasons of writing anxiety also have underlying reasons. Take note that they are or could be interconnected with each other.
The following are some tips to overcome writing anxiety and its causes:
A. The Topic, The Type of Writing, or The Writing Style. Most often than not, you can not do anything regarding the topic and the type of writing if you are thinking of changing them to something you would like or be more comfortable with, especially when it is a given topic or type of writing, something which is required at school, work, or in a writing contest. You can not alter or manipulate them.The writing style however could be flexible, but it is still wise to inquire on what writing style is needed or wanted by whoever gave you the certain writing task.
The best thing that could help you overcome writing anxiety caused by these three elements is by changing the way to think or the way you perceive the them. If you can not control what you are assigned with, you can, however control the way you approach them, or the way you see them. Think of the topic as a challenge, and not something that burdens you. This is the first step — the proper mind setting.
B. A fear. A fear, identified or unknown could cause writing anxiety. There are likewise many reasons why you could fear writing. It could be because you lack self-confidence; you fear negative criticisms; you are uncertain of the outcome of effect of your piece; or simply because of the unknown. Like any other fears, you need to face it. Do not escape from it by performing poorly or simply quitting. You write. I say, there isn’t supposed to be anything scary about grabbing a pen and paper or sitting in front of a computer. But of course, you need to accept and realize that you have such fear in writing. Denial isn’t a good solution, though.
It could also help if you talk to somebody you trust, especially when you can not pin point why you have fear in writing.
C. Laziness, Lack or Absence of Commitment, Enthusiasm, or Self-confidence. These are some tough reasons of writing anxiety, and their worst effect is quitting. When you are feeling lazy or you lack commitment or enthusiasm to write, even the strongest emotional or physical push could not move you, specially when you get used to slacking, you will be as motionless as a rock.
Motivation, inspiration, uplifting words from people who care about you could help, but it is your own initiatives that could really get you into writing. You need to help yourself up and start writing. You need to realize the need and importance of commitment. You need to know, understand, and realize the good returns or rewards of good writing. Think about good grades, recognition, trophies or medals, monetary returns, commendations, recognitions, or self-fulfillment. You need to discover what will make you commit and what will make you enthusiastic about writing.
If your anxiety is because of the lack of self-confidence, you need to study, gain and hone writing skills. Also, gain enough writing experiences, these will help you boost your self-confidence.
D. Lack or Absence of Knowledge and Writing Skills.The only antidote to this reason of writing anxiety is to gain and develop knowledge and writing skills.
The following are links to my other posts which may help you improve writing skills:
E. Lack or Absence of Moral Support and Motivation. If you lack or worse, do not have any moral support and motivation, you’d better get some! If people do not give it to you, you look or ask for it yourself. Moral support and motivation in writing should be constant and not fluctuating. Your sources of these important elements are your family and relatives, your friends, probably teachers or mentors.
To overcome writing anxiety, measures involving emotional or psychological elements should be taken because, most often than not, this uneasiness is founded on human behaviors and principles, and people’s way of thinking.
Lastly, it is your strong will to defeat it that would effectively help you overcome writing anxiety.