Dear Frightened Writer

By DiAnn Mills, @DiAnnMills


It’s January 2018, and you have decided this is the year to write, to begin the project that has stalked you for weeks, months, and years. You’ve dreamed about putting thoughts into words for so long that it’s become your go-to past time. Your heart aches with the passion to create words that move into sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters, and maybe a book. The thought nips at your waking and sleeping hours until you must at least try.

But you’re afraid. Beginning means setting out on a journey of the soul. The writer must rip the scars from her heart to bleed life experiences onto paper. What if you fail? What if the longing is just a disguise for refusing to believe your goals are impossible?

How do we ever know if an endeavor is worth the price unless we choose to chase the outrageous and risk defeat? Your nights have been sleepless thinking about the desire to write, so why not crawl out of bed and string together the words consuming you?

The publishing world can be a scary place. I’m right there with you. Sometimes we writers feel like a tiny fish in a huge pond. We forget every big fish was once small. We all have to grow our skills, our brands, and our self-confidence to succeed in reaching dreams and goals.

What if you take a leap of faith into the unknown? What might happen? How can a frightened writer take the first step, master it, and move on to the next?

  1. Embrace the decision to be a writer. The gift is a calling. Don’t take the magnificence lightly.
  2. Choose to learn the craft. Allot time every day to study the how-to books. Research online learning and choose what blogs, podcasts, and webinars fill your needs. Invest in a highly respected writer’s conference.
  3. Place readers above yourself. We write to address their needs. Discover those who crave what you have to offer.
  4. Prepare to enter the world of social media with a plan to work smart. Incorporate a minimum amount of time with the maximum impact.
  5. Vow to never stop reading and studying how to perfect your writing career.
  6. Share what you learn with a serious writer. Pay the craft forward.

Dear writer, being frightened is a good thing, especially if we’re able to harness the power of fear into a strength that helps us be successful.

So be afraid, writer. It will serve you.

What writing fears chase you?


DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Suspense Sister, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference with social media specialist Edie Melson. She teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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