I love watching squirrels frolic around the greenery outside my home, especially when they climb up palm trees across the street. (I know, there are worse ways to quarantine.)
These palm trees are extremely tall and lately I’ve noticed more and more squirrels climbing up the trunks to the highest branches.
Of course I can’t speak to whether or not the squirrels are afraid, but they don’t seem like they are. And it doesn’t really matter if they’re confident because … they’re present.
Living in the present moment helps them overcome any fear of falling or disappointment, if the tree doesn’t have any nuts.
They’re just following their current instincts, and that’s what anyone who wants to write professionally has to do as well. That’s the first step for new writers.
Stop second-guessing and start writing
All writers have something in common.
One day, they decided to stop overthinking and start writing. Rather than dismissing their little ideas, they knew it was time to thoroughly explore them with words.
After they make that decision, they work with their best possible idea at the moment and follow it through to completion.
There’s no more waiting for the “perfect topic,” “perfect angle,” or “perfect writing conditions.”
You have to build a narrative for people to check out and follow before you can grow an audience over time.
Here’s a rule of thumb for when you’re choosing one of your many ideas to write about:
If it has even the slightest possibility of helping someone, try.
Writing that changes the world exists in the world, not in your mind.
Perfectionism wants to keep you “safe”
The first step for new writers may sound simple, but it’s a lot easier said than done. It can feel safer to not write anything than write the wrong thing.
For example, when I worked freelance, I was afraid to write my own content for a long time. Why? Because if I made a writing mistake, I thought I would look like a bad editor.
That fear made perfectly logical sense to me and also kept me safely stuck — you don’t get new clients if you don’t market yourself.
No one will know you’re a writer if you don’t write and publish — and the more you practice, the more you’ll improve. There’s no where to go but up, like the squirrel conquering the towering palm tree.
Once you overcome your fear of “bad,” another decision has to be made.
Claim your spot as a writer
Accept your current writing level and claim your spot as a writer in the digital world.
What you write now isn’t the final word on that subject.
You can refine your position as you evolve, and I guarantee you’ll revisit the first topics you write about later after you’ve gained new insights.
Organize your ideas and give them a spot in your editorial calendar, so that you publish on a regular schedule. You might brainstorm different topics concurrently, but focus on completing one at a time.
If you can follow through on four solid ideas each month, you’ll have an article to publish once a week.
7 Steps to Grow a Blog Post
All writers, not just new writers, have to work with their current instincts.
You go from instinct to action when you:
- Organize your thoughts.
- Form a narrative (for both a single piece of content and your publishing platform in general).
- Complete one idea at a time.
That’s why creative professionals never finish growing. After that first step for new writers, there’s another step, and another, and another …
Even though you gain experience, you start every draft from scratch, right?
Having a repeatable creative process makes your journey a lot smoother, so if you want to strengthen your ability to write on command, next check out: 7 Steps to Grow a Blog Post.