I recently came across a writer who had been sitting on an outline for years. He wanted to lock himself in a cabin to make himself write, but I argued that locking oneself in a cabin will be ineffective if the underlying issue is fear.

Are you afraid to write?

If so, tell yourself the following:

1. I am allowed to write badly. Everybody writes garbage.

2. I can’t edit a blank page. It’s better to have something there.

3. I am going to write without editing. I can do that later.

4. I will refrain from judging anything I write. I can do that later.

5. If I don’t do well enough the first time, I’ll just try again.

6. My desire to write a book comes from something that is greater than my mind. I am going to trust whatever that is to also grant me the ability to do it.

Once you’ve solved this problem, feel free to go lock yourself in a cabin. 🙂


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My first book, Halfway There: Lessons at Midlife, was released on August 18, 2020 by Warren Publishing and was re-released on February 16, 2021 by White Ocean Press. To read an excerpt, check out reviews, see the author Q&A, or find links to buy, click the Learn More button.

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Elizabeth C. Haynes is a writer, editor, author, and former head of marketing content. She now works independently to help clients improve the quality and effectiveness of their writing, storytelling, and digital content.

Learn more about her here.


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