How to overcome your fear

Well, it’s Halloween again and scary things are heading your way.

But do you really need to open the door to find scary things that instill fear?

No, not me. All I have to do is walk over to my desk. 

Because, if you’re a writer, you live with fear. At least I do. Fear of failure, and fear of success. Yep, that’s right. Sitting down at the keyboard is a whole other kind of fear.


Is it really fear of writing or is it fear of failure?

Do you suffer from Graphophobia, Scriptophobia, Achievemephobia,  Atychiphobia or some other phobia?

Oh yeah, there is a phobia for everything.

Scriptophobia, fear of writing (in public, class, etc.). I believe a writer can feel this fear because we are expecting someone, someday to read what we’ve written. ie… public.

Graphophobia, fear of handwriting. Okay, this one is a stretch for writers. But, hey you never know, so I threw it in for good measure.

Achievemephobia, fear of success. Hmm, yeah sometimes this does bother me. How would my life change if I wrote a bestselling book? I’m not a big people person, preferring the quiet of my home to a convention floor.

But first I, and maybe you must get over the biggest fear.

Achievemephobia, the fear of failure. If there is a writer anywhere in the world that hasn’t felt a fear of failure at one point in their life, I’d love to meet them.

So, according to Mark Twain, it’s okay to be afraid but not okay to let fear stop us. 

Doesn’t matter what you call it, we can overcome any fear including finishing that manuscript.

How? One word at a time.

What is your biggest fear?

What fear keeps you from writing?

What fear stops you from succeeding?


Want to read more about phobias, and how to overcome the fear of writing? Click links at the end of this post.





3 Tricks to Overcome Your Fear of Writing by 

10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing By:  

Writers Anxiety 

 Overcoming Fear of Failure – Facing Your Fear of Moving Forward

Fear of Writing Phobia – Graphophobia or Scriptophobia




Do you suffer from a fear of words?

Do you see your story in pictures or words?

Then you might be a visual writer.

After reading Nancy Friedman‘s post, I’m convinced. I’m a visual writer. Because I see glimpses of a story and then proceed to put the things I see into words. Not always an easy feat.

Writing pictures into words can be a problem if the writer has a fear of words.

I’m bad to write, in short, clipped sentences often failing to describe in detail what I want the reader to understand. Not good. So, I’m going to work on writing a little more prosaic.

If you ever find yourself at a loss for words? 

You might be a visual writer.

If you ever have trouble with “what comes next” in a scene?

You might be a visual writer.

If you have trouble writing specific descriptions and hope the reader “gets it?”

You might be a visual writer. (this one is so me.)

So how do I use my visual ability to convey the right words at the right time and in the right order? How do I make sure my readers can see what I see?

Practice, practice, and practice. Practice with words.

Remember readers are not psychic. They cannot see a scene unless I paint a “verbal” picture.

PS: A little trivia. Logophobia, is a fear of words, talking. Also, who knew there is a Visual Thesaurus? Cool!

Go read Nancy’s article and tell me…

Are you a visual writer or a verbal writer?

Are the right words always at your beck and call?

Or do you struggle to describe the scenes dancing in your head?

Fear of Words (and Other Writer’s Blocks) by Nancy Friedman

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Do you want to write about fear?

Ever struggle with a scene?

Well, I’ve been struggling with a scene in a WIP that needs a light touch. I want to convey fear and terror without being overt about what’s happening.

And as usual, when I need help along comes one of my blogging/writing buddies.

Thanks, Dan Alatorre AUTHOR!

Recently, Dan posted a tease regarding a new contest. However, this isn’t what got my juices flowing. No, it was the video challenge. Hop over to Dan’s post and check out the video.


Dan posed three questions about the video clip. I used #3 as an exercise to work on my scene problems. Helped me a lot to work on writing about anxiety and fear.

#3. The place where the nanny is crossing the street and the little girl almost gets run over – HOW would you set that up in a written story so we jump when we read it?*

Here is the result of my exercise. Please be kind.

We could make it if the girls didn’t dawdle. I gripped the hands of my small charges tighter and marched on aching feet toward the cross walk.

“Hurry along girls, before the light changes.”

I should stop at the market and get something for dinner. Mr. Singleton likes lamb chops.

“Nanny, Nanny, I got to pet a rabbit today.” Eve tugged on my hand.

“Hmm, that’s nice.”

“She did not.” Anna made a face at her younger sister.

“Did too.”

“Girls, that’s enough, we don’t have time.”

Maybe there’s something I could cook for dinner in the freezer.

Of course, the girls have homework. They always have homework. It’s Chatty-Kathy Highwaters fault I’m running late this afternoon. If she hadn’t insisted on telling me, and everyone within hearing, about her big pay raise, I wouldn’t be in such a hurry. Although I wouldn’t call five percent much of an increase for minding three kids.

“Oh, my God!”

The screech of metal against metal filled the air as two cars attempted to destroy each other.

I yanked the girls back onto the curb and out of the way of two damned fools, playing Speed Racer. They could’ve killed my babies. Where the hell is New York’s finest when you need them?

“Nanny, you’re hurting me.” Anna whimpered.

I eased my death grip on the girls and kneeled. Hands shaking, I fished a crumpled tissue from my pocket and dried their tears.

“How about we go for ice cream?”

So what if dinner is late tonight? I’ll think of something. For now, I’ll let the sweet taste of chocolate with sprinkles wipe this horror from their minds. No need to worry the Mister and Mrs. about what didn’t happen.

Have you ever used a writing challenge to help a WIP?

Do you find showing fear and terror difficult?

Did you try your hand at one of Dan’s questions? Which one?


Talk to me – I love comments.

Please head over and “like” my Facebook page at Facebook at jeanswriting . Or to connect with me, click the “write me” tab. Don’t forget you can follow me on StumbleUpon,  on Twitter @jeancogdell , and

Please stop by and say “hey!”  I’ll leave a light on. 

How to introduce a well rounded character

When a character pops into my mind and reveals themselves, I get to know them really well.

I can see them warts and all. The smirk, contempt or joy on their face is understandable. Their happy go lucky attitude or their fearful, silent, brooding insecurities I’m familiar with.

No, I’ve not heard voices or seen visions. But I do talk to my characters. Doesn’t every writer?

When meeting someone in real life we don’t learn everything about them in the first few minutes. It’s the same with a character. The more time I spend with him/her the more I get to love or hate them, admire them or fear them.

Too often I forget the reader cannot see and hear what’s in my head. That I need to make introduce the character to the reader. For my character to become as real to the reader as they are to me, I must breathe life into them.



“Reader, meet Character. Character this is Reader.”

“Pleased to meet you.” Reader said, extending her right hand.

“Right.” Character said. His smile more of a smirk as he ignores Reader’s hand and turns away from her bright smile.

Well, that intro didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but as time passes, they will either come to trust, love or hate one another. Become best friends or mortal enemies.

If I’m lucky the reader will continue to learn something new about the character, all the way to the very end of the book.

Want some tips on how to How to create recognizable characters? Then be sure and read this post by Helga Schier. 

She even provides a free video lesson.

Little by little I should reveal who the character is, what they want and why. The reader will begin to understand what Character loves and hates.

Want to know more questions to ask, answer and reveal in your story? Then click and read this article by Heather Jackson.

She gives us Top Ten Things Writers Should Ask Their Characters

You might want to check out Janice Hardy’s blog for a character building prompt.