Scriptophobia- Fear of writing in public.
It’s a real thing, believe it or not, although, I’m not 100 percent sure when you’d have to write “in public.” On a chalkboard or whiteboard? During a presentation?
I’m not sure if it refers to the act of writing in public—or perhaps the presentation of one’s writing in public.
Ooooh. Does that sound a little more familiar?
I actually see this all the time. You can tell when someone has a fear of (authentic) blogging in a couple of different ways:
These are the people who are trapped by fear. They aren’t blogging from their values. They aren’t blogging from their passion—their bigger why, the reason they got into the business in the first place. They’re just blogging because they think they’re supposed to.
They’re uncomfortable and afraid.
But they don’t have to be. Here’s what I would lovingly say to those people:
I believe (and I know many of you do, too) that I am in business to help people. I’m in business to solve problems and make people’s lives better.
One of the ways I help people is through my blog. I blog about what I do. I blog about my business, and yeah, I blog about my life. But the blog is not about me. It’s about helping my readers and my customers.
When you turn it around and look at it from that perspective, it takes some of the pressure off. It’s not about making you look good, it’s not primarily about getting more customers, or making more money—
It’s about helping more people.
I know that a lot of bloggers worry about being humiliated somehow or being judged. But if your purpose is to help people, who is going to judge you for that? (And if they do, what kind of losers are they!?)
A lot of people I talk to are worried that they’re bad writers. Hey, that’s why some people hire me!
But to them I say, “Have you SEEN the internet lately?!” (It’s enough to make a grammar guru like me want to weep. Seriously.)
First of all, as much as it pains me to say it, grammar is not as important as you think it is. If your sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a period, then you’re probably doing just fine. (Even that isn’t a hard and fast rule; just look at ee cummings.)
If it’s really something that concerns you, the simplest solution is to find a friend with better grammar skills than you to read over what you write or hire an editor. Heck, even reading what you’ve written out loud will help you find the awkward bits and make them a little smoother.
But sometimes it’s more than a grammar phobia. “I’m not a writer,” people say to me. “I’ve never been a good writer.”
My friend, that is just fear talking. That is your seventh grade English teacher who gave you a bad grade on your essay about The Grapes of Wrath. That’s the college professor who marked every page with angry red pen.
Because here’s the truth: If you write, you’re a writer.
If you want to be a better writer, here’s what you do: you write more. You write when you don’t want to. You write when it’s hard, or uncomfortable, or vulnerable. And when you hate what you’ve written, you don’t stop writing, you write more.
Writing isn’t always comfortable. It’s not always fun. And it’s CERTAINLY not always easy. But your blog is the centerpiece of your online marketing. It’s working for your business 24/7. Many times, it’s the first impression people get of you and your business.
Don’t you owe it a little hard work and practice?
I know; easier said than done. I’m working on a course I’ll be releasing later this year that will help you discover and hone the skills to blog with confidence. Interested? Click here to be the first to know when I release the details!
There are always going to be people who don’t enjoy writing, and that’s no sin. There are also going to be people for whom writing is not in their zone of genius, and they really need to spend their time and attention doing the things that they are amazing at. That’s where a writer like me comes in.
But if you want to blog, and you’re just scared, I want to tell you that it’s OK. You can do this. I can help you find the way, but you’ve already got it in you.