During the time I took the Breaking Into Print course from Long Ridge, I discovered a lot about fiction writing, and all its parts. But one thing held me back during that time, and I wish I’d seen it sooner.
In some respects, I’m still getting over it. It used to keep me up at night. Even in the Long Ridge manual, they told me not to sweat it, in a sense.
And it applies to fiction writing and email copywriting (all writing, really).
Deep down, for me, all this boiled down to…
Being afraid to write garbage.
As in me, writing stuff no one would ever read, it was so awful (or so I thought). Characters I didn’t care about, plots that fell flat, description that would make you fall asleep at the wheel.
You get the idea.
So I didn’t write as much as I should have, or could have. I gave in to fear, plain and simple.
I ignored this one crucial fact:
You can’t get better at something by not doing it.
It’s harsh, but it’s also the truth. Maybe you’re dealing with that yourself. Whether it’s fear of bad writing, rejection from a magazine, client, reviewer, or something else, fears are real. They’re also easy to get past.
Just confront them.
That’s the really hard part. Sometimes people struggle for years with these kinds of things.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t overcome it. If you’re writing something that you’re not sure about, give it someone who has a strong enough relationship with you to give you honest feedback (and sometimes that might hurt, too).
And for you copywriters out there, the same applies. Study the craft itself, then write. Get feedback, and write some more.
If you really are afraid to write something because you aren’t confident in your skill (yet), that’s fine. But in order to get better, you’ll need to write it anyway.
And if we ever meet, ask me about Charlie Russell (and if your name really is Charlie Russell, it’s not about you).
Until next time,