When a Writer Gets Cold Feet

Aside from writer’s block, could there be a worse feeling than a sudden bout of analysis paralysis over hitting the “Enter” button to send or publish a written work?

Over the course of 204 blog posts, I am very fortunate in that it has not happened often, but it does… and it freaks me out each time!

When I published my first few blog posts back in 2013, I think it was perfectly understandable to take a moment …or two …or three to think twice before hitting “Publish” in my WordPress application as I was sending my work on the World Wide Web to be seen and read by anybody with a computer and a connection.

Does my post say anything that might inadvertently rub someone the wrong way? Could something be taken out of context or misconstrued? Could a blog post cast a negative light on anyone or anything, even if I went to great pains to ensure it did not? Will it generate any negative mail?

It’s a lot of pressure to take in as a new blogger, more so than the idea “will anyone read it?” Frankly if the latter was my problem, there would be little pressure.

But over time, as my written works were met with a warm reception, kind comments and a generous spirit of encouragement from readers and fellow writers, the pressure mostly passed.

But when I write a piece, especially one that has been incubating in my mind and on paper for several days, weeks or even months, why is it only when I am about to hit Enter (or even worse, shortly thereafter) that I get cold feet?

I have to admit that when that happens, I am perhaps harder on myself than I should. Blogging is my happy place, my fun place, my place where I can let my spirit and creativity roam freely while putting other thoughts on the back burner for a little while.

It’s not like I have a client waiting, or a deadline with a financial component to it. It’s just my own target publication schedule, to which I adhere pretty rigourously.

When someone from the inner circle of family and friends writes me to point out a spelling mistake or wonky sentence structure, I always take it in stride. Even though I allocate as much time to review and edit as I do to the writing itself, mistakes happen. Things like that don’t bother me in the slightest and I am extremely grateful when someone takes the time to read my blog and points out something like that. As such, I don’t think that is the problem.

I really want the blog to be a safe place that people can turn to for a moment to forget their troubles, their worries and their concerns. I want my blog to be a happy place not just for me, but for my readers as well. I want the blog to be that place where people can crack a smile, enjoy a chuckle, and share in my love of the written word. And every now and again, I might even present an idea that might be food for thought.

So with that raison d’être and criteria so clear in my mind, where is that confident writer that hit the Enter button just last week, or the week before, or the week before that?

My solution is that if a blog post elicits a case of analysis paralysis, then I just need to park it. Maybe it’s not ready yet (or perhaps I am not ready yet to post it) and I do indeed need to look at it some more. I then look through my collection of works-in-process and find another blog post I have been working on that is closer to being truly ready for publication.

At the end of the day, we writers can be our own worst enemy at times. Whether it comes in the form of writer’s block, analysis paralysis or overthinking, we are no different than any other creative spirit who strives to produce good work that will resonate positively with our fellow humans.

I think the case of cold feet is just a sign of the degree to which I care about the content of the blog and its potential impact on my readers. For those reasons, I really shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, please know that there are plenty more where that came from! If you haven’t already, you can check out the rest of my blog at andrebegin.blog. From there, you can click on the “Follow” button to receive future posts directly in your inbox.
Also, don’t be shy, feel free to tell a friend or to share the link.
Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,
André

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