Just Write Something: How To Get Over The “Newbie” Jitters

Ross Simmonds

Stop second guessing yourself.

Stop making excuses.

Stop being afraid.

Sure, it’s easy for me to say, I wrote more than 500,000 words last year. But do you really think I was never in your shoes? I’m still fairly new at this whole writing thing.

I’ve only been writing in a public forum for about 6 or 7 years.

That’s NOTHING.

The king of marketing, Seth Godin has been blogging since 2002. You don’t even want to know what I was doing in 2002.

I can remember when I was first starting to write in my blog. If you’ve been following since those days, you know first hand that my writing has changed a lot. In fact, the majority of my early posts are no longer live because they were so bad. But at least I did it.

Because guess what?

If I never got over the stories I was telling myself….

“No one will want to listen to me.”

“I’m not even an expert yet.”

or “I have no real credentials to suggest I know what I’m doing.”

I would be still waiting for the right time. There is no right time.

The best time to start writing was last year and the second best time is right now.

If you’re a writer, I’m sure you started off with similar thoughts. If you’re a blogger, I’m sure pressing publish on your first few blog posts seemed like a big accomplishment on its own. And it was. Because pressing publish is one thing that most people are scared to do.

Why?

I’ve thought about this a lot and I’ve realized that the same reason I struggled at pressing publish in the early days, is the same reason so many others struggle today. It’s not because we don’t think we’re good enough. It’s not because we don’t have enough experience.

It’s because we’re afraid of what other people will think.

We’re afraid of what other people will say.

We’re afraid of the haters.

IGNORE THEM.

When was the last time you made a car payment using someone else’s opinion? (Tweet this)

Look, I’m not going to act like I don’t often doubt myself. I doubt myself on the regular. I stress when I don’t feel prepared for a speech or deserving of an award. I second guess pressing publish on certain posts and articles. In fact, early on in my career, I allowed my own fear to hold me back from SERIOUS opportunities.

For the most part, we’re suffering from this thing called impostor syndrome. A psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.

Even Albert Einstein suffered from the syndrome near the end of his life. A month before his death, he reportedly confided in a friend: “the exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.”

So how can you deal with it?

Surround yourself with people who are doers. Allow people who take action to inspire you to do similar things. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to do things that make you uncomfortable and are more likely to question your inaction than action.

Write something today. Write something about your industry. Write something you’ve learned in the last 2 weeks. Write something about your life. Write anything!

Just get started. 

I hope this mini-rant resonates with you and within the next few weeks, I’ll hear back from you with a link to something you’ve created. I say created because this isn’t just about writing. It’s about shipping. Getting things done. Creating more and consuming less.

What will you create? What will you build? What will you write? I’d love to hear about – write me back or comment on the original post with your thoughts.

About Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist who has worked with everything from Fortune 500 companies to startups to drive results using digital marketing and technology.

21 Comments

  • Ken Clench says:

    Thank you Ross for this. Those same internal voices you spoke of are the reason an eBook and several ‘challenging’ blog posts are still sitting in the hopper, waiting for their day in the sun. For me, the reasoning is always “I have like… five readers on my blog. Who would want to read a book I wrote?” ad nauseum. You are correct though. Just write the thing anyway. Again, thank you. The right words at just the right time.

  • Needed to read this today. I feel like my drafts folder is looking like Dr. Dre’s album: never coming out, but I keep hinting about it to myself. No more!

  • Exactly! Just ship it Ken. Don’t ship it for others, ship it for you. If those five people read it and enjoy, they might pass it along to another five and the cycle continues. Let me know when something is shipped – I know I’d read it!

  • Bahaha, that Dre reference killed me. So true though – Keep shipping!

  • Great piece, needed rant for a lot of us folks. Love the “haters gonna hate” image

  • Thanks man – Glad you enjoyed it!
    Keep shipping. Keep hustling. 🙂

  • Hey Ross, thanks for your text. The funny thing is that very often we all know what we should do, but implementing it into life is a challenge :). Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Rebecca Gadsden says:

    I feel like you could have just added my name to the title – it’s so on point with where I am at! It’s good to know I’m not the only one with these kinds of doubts and thank you for naming them. PS. I do remember your early posts…they weren’t that bad. But I will say, your evolution is better! 🙂

  • You’re being too nice. Those blog posts were rough 🙂

  • […] Write something, film something, sing something or draw something. […]

  • Barry Kruse says:

    Great piece, Ross. People perceive me as a very confident person and great storyteller. And I’m regularly told that I’m a great writer. People come to me for advice and editing all the time.
    So why is it so hard to believe in myself when it comes to writing what I’m feeling, or the things I really want to share, or even things I think people will want to read? It’s the second guessing. All the time.
    Loved this article.

  • Just stumbled upon this post…

    A lot’s happened in the past 3 months… Goodbye Detox, hello Compton.

    Bottom line–the Dre album is out! Hope your draft folder resembles much in the same.

  • Great self reflection Barry. Glad it resonated with you!

  • Good catch Mike! Dre delivered and it looks like Jonathan has as well.

    Check it out.. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/when-access-gets-denied-jonathan-jackson

  • Thanks for sharing Ross. That was a phenomenal piece. Definitely enhanced my Monday morning coffee sesh.

    Jonathan — not only was the piece extremely well-written, but it was damn important! You’ve gained a new follower this morning. Keep it up!

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  • DeNeen Harold, BA, ADp HRM says:

    Hi Ross. Thank you so much for this Blog. It hit on everything I am feeling. I am currently taking a web design course for the purpose of creating a site where my goal is to blog on topics related to HR, Customer Service and Management, but I am holding myself back from getting started with all the thoughts you mentioned. I think the key thing is in fact that I am mostly afraid about what people will think or say. I am motivated now to just start writing something just to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Thank you! DeNeen Harold

  • Hi, After redoing this post, I built up my blog and published my first article. Please have a look and comment. I need your feedbacks to improve my writing skills.
    http://www.daglega.com/defeated-fears-writing-first-blog-post/

  • Gigi Rodgers says:

    I love this – “Surround yourself with people who encourage you to do things that make you uncomfortable and are more likely to question your inaction than action”.

    I started to do that, and it’s game changing to your mindset.
    I remember talking with someone about a year ago, and I was asking about her life – how they went from point A to point G, where they are currently.

    At the end, all I was thinking was, “Damn, I’m lazy!” – lol!
    And what did I do when I went home? I got my assets to WORK!
    And it’s been like that since.

    Some people say that comparison is the thief of joy, but it can also be the spark that gets you into deliberate motion.

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