Want to be a better writer?
Be willing to fail.
I can see the panic in your eyes.
Failure is scary. You don’t want to fail, you want to succeed.
So why am I telling you to be willing to fail?
Because if you are not willing to fail, you will stay exactly as you are. Getting better at writing requires learning new skills and learning new skills requires taking a risk. With risk comes the possibility of failure… and the possibility of success.
Avoiding failure limits you.
If you’re like most people, you have learned to avoid failure in life. You’ve struggled to avoid mistakes in order to look good. While this strategy may have served you at times it also limits you.
Fear of failure is the death of spontaneity, and spontaneity is the key ingredient for creativity and innovation. The more comfortable you are with the possibility of failing, the more free you will be to write and create.
You were not born knowing how to walk. There were many failed attempts as you tried to stand, support yourself, and take those first few steps. With each unsuccessful attempt came some learning. With each bit of learning you got better at walking. If you had avoided the risk falling, you would never have learned to walk.
Are you judging your writing as you write it?
When you are writing, have you noticed times where you think a sentence in your head, but you don’t write it down because you don’t think it is good enough. That, my friend, is called judging your writing as you write it. It’s also called being afraid to fail. So afraid to fail that you won’t take the risk of writing an imperfect sentence.
You do not need to put your self-worth on the line with each word you write. It is ok to write an imperfect sentence. Here, I’ll show you:
Rick went to the pound and back to get the dog soon.
See, the world did not end. I’m still here and still writing.
To become a better writer you have to accept that you will have some failures along the way. All the sentences you write are not going to be perfect. It’s ok, failing is part of the process of becoming a better writer.
Save the judging for later
Nurture your writing and creativity by letting go of the outcome. Save judging for later. When you are writing that first draft, give yourself the freedom to create, imagine, stretch, and grow. Write the words down without judging them. That’s when the magic happens.
When you do fail
Don’t dwell on the failure, celebrate that you took a risk. With each risk and failure, you learn something and become a better writer. There is no way to get from here to there without ever making a mistake. Get comfortable with making mistakes and you will become a better writer faster.
Is fear of failure holding you back?
If you want to know if fear of failing is holding you back in your writing, then ask yourself this question:
What would you write if you knew you could not fail?