Write Without Fear – Your Writing Approach For 2020

Do you write without fear? Unfortunately, many people do not. As I have worked in education for over twelve years, I find it incredibly common that many of those who write a story for the first time do so with trepidation and worry.

I have taught people from five-years-old into adulthood and, when it comes to creative writing, there are always those who are terrified about putting pen to paper. The worry about what others will think about their piece of fiction stifles all creativity.

There also others who can write a story without any second thoughts. They don’t worry about who the characters are, what is happening, or how the piece will turn out. These are the people I love to watch as they write a story and, in my experience, many of them have been children.

In this piece, I hope to share three approaches you can try this coming year to try and write without fear. If you have a story, allow it to flow and give it the chance to be told.

An Aspiring Author?

When I wrote my debut novel, Inside Iris, I was worried about how it would turn out, how people would receive it, and whether it would be ‘good’. These feelings are natural, but I made one decision when I was determined to finish the book – I am an author.

As I scroll through my many social media feeds, I see one label within people’s bios – ‘aspiring author’. This is something that I can never really get my head around. If that person, who has written many poems and short stories, doesn’t see themselves as an author, who will?

I then got to researching the difference between a writer and an author. These were the differences:

  • Writer – Someone who expresses their ideas in writing or is engaged in literary work,
  • Author – Someone who writes a novel, poem or essay and is the composer of the literary work.

In my opinion, this is the first step to writing without fear in 2020. You need to believe that you are an author, poet, playwright, or screenwriter. By doing this, you will change how you view yourself in the year ahead.

If you are the composer of the pieces of writing you create, you are an author. Think about it, see it, and believe it. You are an author  

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Plan With A Purpose

This was one of the first blogs I pieced together for my creative writing blog. When compiling a content plan for my blog, this was a term that was searched for regularly when I gathered possible titles.

How can we plan with a purpose when time is short, and we have so many other responsibilities that demand our attention? Yes, we have multiple demands that are placed upon us, but we need to ensure that the time we have is used to its maximum.

If you have forty-five minutes when you drop your daughter off to a dance class, bring your notepad and write a monologue from one character’s point of view in the scene you are composing at that time. 

If your son is playing a football or soccer match and they have to warm up for forty-five minutes before the game, set out the main plot points of the story you have in mind on your Notes app in your phone.

By using the time that we have and focusing on a specific target, we will set up a solid foundation to write without fear of getting lost or running out of steam. Planning is a vital part of the writing process. If you plan well, you will be able to write freely and with less anxiety.

 

Set Achievable Targets

One of the most significant movements online is that of NaNoWriMo. One of the best things about NaNoWriMo is the fact that you should aim to write a novel within a month.

By joining such a community, you feel part of a community and have support from those other authors taking part. This can be just the target you need to push and support you throughout the novel-writing process.

As we look to targets, it is essential to be SMART. When I work as an educator, I always talk about SMART targets to help people make plans and set realistic goals. These stand for:

  • Specific,
  • Measurable,
  • Attainable,
  • Relevant, and
  • Time-Limited.

Whether you are writing a short story or a monologue that is to be used as part of your planning process, the targets you set have to be achievable. When we set unattainable goals, we will naturally get deflated and lose hope.

As you look to make 2020 a year where you write without fear, it is essential to write something that you know you can achieve. By achieving your goals, you will be able to set more optimistic targets next time.

I have written two fiction books but, when I wrote Inside Iris, I didn’t have a word limit. When the final piece hit 60,000 words, I was delighted. Then, as I approach the publication the second book in The Iris Trilogy, Anna’s Awakening, I have a piece of around 90,000 words. 

I know if I had set myself a target of writing a 60,000 or 90,000-word novel when I started as an author, I could have been overwhelmed and given up. 

Set a target that you know you can achieve, be SMART, and liberate yourself from all expectations. Write the story, novel, or poem that you want to write. Have fun exploring the characters’ stories and achieve the goal you have set – to write and become an author.

When I started compiling a creative writing blog on my website, I wanted to make creative writing accessible to everyone who visited my site. With this approach, I hope to encourage writers of all ages and abilities to write something and share a story with the world.

It is only by liberating ourselves from anxiety and worry about writing that we can genuinely make the creative writing process fun, liberating, and without barriers. The only boundaries we should face are those that we impose on ourselves, like deadlines, homework, NaNoWriMo, and those that come from our home life.

Make 2020 the year that you write without any fear or worry about what people think. You are the author. You are the one who decides what happens and how events unfold within your story.

Get a pen, a notepad, or a laptop and write that story you have always wanted to tell. Write without barriers and write without fear.

Blog written by
Scott Gilmore | Author | Copywriter

Scott is a fiction author from Belfast, Northern Ireland. His creative writing blog offers advice for writers of all ages and abilities. Join his SG Fiction writing community on the SG Fiction website and receive the first three chapters of Inside Iris for free.

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