How to Overcome Anxiety as a Writer

21 Oct



If you really want to succeed as a writer, your have to overcome many fears, from handling criticism, getting rejection letters from publishers, negative comments from bullies to the fear of public speaking at book launches or writer conferences. So what can you do to overcome these fears or apprehensions?

How to Deal With Publisher’s Rejections
The path to writing success is littered with rejection letters. No matter if it was your first or your thirtieth rejection letter, don’t give up. Read these articles about famous authors who received dozens and dozens of these letters:
Just to show you how wrong publishers can be, see the original snarky rejection letter that Gertrude Stein received in 1912 from a jerk publisher.  Or check out an extensive collection of the some of the biggest errors of judgement in publishing history.

And even there are barely any reasons given in these rejection letters, it can be:

  • that the publisher just worked on a somewhat similar book,
  • that they don’t have the money to take on new projects,
  • that the topic is not to the editors taste,
  • that the book would not fit into their line
  • that the publishing house is in the process of merging with another publisher
  • that your book is not written in the personal style of the editor
  • …. or any other reason

Writing is an art, publishing is a business
In other businesses people don’t have the time to delve …. over rejections of business contracts, they just write the next query. So should you. Just keep going. Work on your next query letter and synopsis, perfect them and check out other publishing houses. Remember that only about one per cent of manuscripts are accepted and that you always have the possibility to publish the book yourself, making way more money than using a commercial publisher. How it works is described in a series …..

Negative People
Don’t expect positive comments all the time. Negative comments should be taken as a compliment. Why? Because it means that what your writing sparked enough emotion to compel people to leave a comment. Don’t feel bad when you get negative comments, be upset when you don’t get any comments at all. Every person is entitled to their opinions. Most of the time, the reason people post negative reviews or comments has very little to do with the actual issue at hand. You never know what’s going on in a negative commentators personal life: Maybe he/she had a bad day/got fired or is bitter in general. Some commentators will leave negative comments in an attempt to draw your attention. One thing is for sure: They are poor, unhappy people and not able to be constructive. See also: “Got a 1-Star Review?

Should you dignify their comments with a response, always be calm and respectful. Never respond with defensiveness or emotion. Instead, state the facts and be cool. And do thank the person for taking the time to comment. Handling negative comments can increase your professionalism. Sometimes you can even impress those people so much that they become your biggest fans.

Writing Critiques / Editings
The most important step is: don’t take critiques personally, especially not when it comes from an accomplished writer or a seasoned editor. Even bestseller authors find lots of “red ink” in their manuscripts when they are returned from the editor. Everything in life is a learning process, and you don’t pay an editor to praise you, you pay to have your writing criticized, to improve your style, develop attention to detail and most of all, to help you polishing your writing to the very best it can be.

See it as improvement and growth.
Thank the editor or beta reader and revise your work. If you don’t agree with the way they edited your manuscript, open up a constructive discussing and you might get very helpful insights.

Shy Writers
Reaching success is possible for a loner, so get out there and start networking. Reaching out to other people or speaking publicly may be out of your comfort zone, but it’s absolutely necessary for you as a writer. It is something that you must do again and again throughout your career because it’s the only way to find new readers / customers. Help others, give them positive affirmation and it will come back to you one day when you need it. Growing your contact list is essential especially when you’re looking to promote your work or to collaborate with others. Again: “Writing is an art, publishing is a business.” And every new business owner needs a while to adapt to their new role.

Who can help you with that level of anxiety?

Writers groups
Breaking through writer’s block is a good reason to belong to at least one (better several) writing groups. Chances are you’ll hear something that will help. You can also tell the group your problem and get lots of suggestions. You will discover that many other writers struggle with the same fears.

Writer’s block or anxiety can, if it goes on and on for weeks and months, can be a sign of deeper problems. Working with a professional counselor may be in order. A good counselor can be a miracle worker.

Don’t miss these great articles:

20 Ways to Overcome Shyness

Shyness and Social Anxiety

Best tips of all: Remove the use of avoidance and safety behaviors and gradually confront your fears.




If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help:
Or visit to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing 111Publishing @ Google+


Hyper Smash



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One response to “How to Overcome Anxiety as a Writer

  1. thomasafowler

    October 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Reblogged this on Writer's Conquest by Thomas A Fowler and commented:
    More often than not I just have to tell myself to write, you can always revise and it’s better than doing nothing and just thinking about the problem.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: