Things I Try to Remember When I’m Nervous About Writing
1. Write what you want to read.
2. There is no problem with a story so great that it cannot be fixed in revision. Keep going.
3. If your story is as uncreative as you think it is, you wouldn’t want to write it so badly. You want to write it because there’s a unique spin on it you have never seen, and want to express. Many people may write similar stories, but it’s the details that make it personal. You may not know it now, but there is someone who is looking for exactly what you’re writing. If you don’t finish it, they’ll never see it.
4. You can write something amazing and still be met with silence. There are myriad reasons for this that have nothing to do with the quality of what you produce.
4.1 It’s okay to repeat post your work if no one has seen it.
4.2 It’s okay to post your work in multiple places.
5. You don’t have to agree with every criticism (but take it gracefully anyway).
6. Most writers are scared of the same things you are.
7. Don’t judge your works in progress against the archives of finished, polished stories other writers have put together. Archives are Internet portfolios and generally don’t show all the multitude of failures, incomplete, and draft-form works those writers are also struggling with. They aren’t perfect and you don’t have to be, either. Keep working and you will have a portfolio of your own.
8. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with other writers. It’s not annoying as long as you’re not self-important about it. Be humble and gracious, and others will reciprocate.
8.1 You can’t write as well in a vacuum; the more people know that you are working on something, and what, the more support you will get for that work. Starting a dialogue before you post something will make it more likely people will read it when you do post it.
9. It’s okay to take breaks. If the ideas just aren’t coming, go do something else for a while.
10. Be kind to yourself. Don’t call yourself names. You are not a failure, or uncreative, or boring. You wouldn’t call other people those things, so don’t do it to yourself.
I don’t know if these are helpful to other people, but they are helpful to me, so just in case, here they are!