How to Liberate Your Writing from Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety in writing is similar to any other anxiety you have experienced in life. It is a simple, yet very strong feeling – you basically cannot write. While this clearly indicates that the person finds their writing to be important and care about it, anxiety often has negative impact on the things we write.

If you wish to prevent anxiety from crushing all your efforts in writing, it is time to get rid of that stress. Here are some things you can do to liberate your writing from performance anxiety:

1. Find the Cause

'Even the best writers in the world suffer through 'empty phases' when they cannot think or write anything good. The first step to solving a writing problem is defining the root of that problem. Only then you can work on fixing it.' – says Anna Keith, content writer at SuperiorPapers.

How can you define the cause of your performance anxiety?

Whether it is your parent, publisher or blog audience that expects you to write well, this can always build pressure. If not that, you may be preoccupied with other life issues and cannot write. There are many reasons why you may experience troubles writing, starting from academic factors in students, to social factors for people of all ages.

Try to discover the reason for your anxiety. Once you do, you are ready to take the necessary steps to fix this problem.

Take for example, a complex assignment. If you haven't written such an assignment in the past, you may feel performance anxiety because you are unfamiliar with the structure. Once you pinpoint this as the source of your inability to write, you can work on fixing the problem. In this case, the solution is very simple – check samples of such papers and learn about the structure.

2. Understand What is Required from You

Do you have a writing assignment you have to finish before a set deadline? Or perhaps you are given the liberty to choose your topic or type of writing, but cannot get started?

When you know the source of your anxiety, it is much easier to understand what people expect of you. Go through your assignment several times to make sure you understand everything. If something is not clear, do not start. Discuss this with the instructor first.

3. Make a Fake Deadline

Some people are well aware of a deadline, but this is actually the reason why they feel anxiety in the first place. When you feel like you cannot meet a deadline, you are feeling constant stress, which can eventually become a problem when the time for writing comes.

If you are this person, start practicing fake deadlines. Pretend as if your deadline is closer than it actually is to get rid of that performance anxiety. In this way, even if you miss your fake deadline, you will still have the time to meet the real one.

4. Be Organized

You all probably thought the same thing 'what happens when your deadline is already too tight for me to set a fake deadline?'

When this is your case, there is no room to play around with your deadlines. Instead, you must take a more serious measure and organize your time. In other words, you need to prepare yourself for the writing part.

The most important thing in writing organization is time organization. Instead of planning all the time for writing, make sure to leave some room for breaks. Your brain will need the rest, so stop setting impossible goals and make sure you are practical about the time.

5. Find Your Motivation

As you probably know already, every writer needs 'a muse'. This may sound like a superstition, but a muse does not actually mean that you need a person to motivate you to write. Instead, a 'muse' can mean virtually everything.

What motivates you in life? You surely have some reward you'd be looking forward. Use the things that motivate you to fight off that performance anxiety in writing.

Set small and big goals and leave the big awards for the end. In the meantime, keep your motivation high by awarding yourself with small treats. Drink your favorite tea, munch on some chocolate, or make a short break you will spend however you want.

6. Take It Easy

Finally, stop pressuring yourself. The whole reason behind that performance anxiety is pressure. Whether it is pressure related to a deadline or a person, it is still a pressure.

Pressure keeps us acting and makes us finish our tasks without procrastinating, but too much of it is very unhealthy. If you want to be better at writing and get rid of that anxiety, you need to learn to take it easy.

With some slight changes in your writing routine, you can write better than ever. All you have to do is focus on what makes you anxious and work on getting rid of that stress.


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