This is a sequel to my last post: Writing Anxiety and Likeability. If you haven’t read it, please do. It will provide context and a sort of perspective for this post.
Here are some tips to help you guard against writing anxiety and likeability
1. Locate your writing voice
When you read Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie’s writings, what comes to mind?
Feminism, Social Justice.
When you read Leke Alder’s writings what comes to mind?
When you read Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo’s writings, what comes to mind?
Faith- Jesus, Passion.
When people read your writings, what do you want them to think of?
Locate your writing voice and develop it. Once you understand your writing voice and you stay true to it, once anxiety begins to slip in, you will know and then guard against it.
2. Acknowledge that writing anxiety and likeability is becoming a thing for you
Don’t excuse it as just one of those things, deal with it. Writing Anxiety and Likeability can make you lose your writing voice completely so, you have to be engarde.
3. Locate your triggers
Make introspection a part of your writing diet.
Ask yourself: why am I writing this?
What desires/ things are my writings motivated by?
If your motive for writing is not in line with your writing voice, or will make you sound different, a kind of different that doesn’t fully represent your brand and core writing values, drop it.
It is easy to mistake creativity with writing anxiety. One is motivated by a need to get better and improve your craft, the other is motivated by a need to fuel people’s perception of you even though that perception is not true.
4. Difference is not bad.
It is okay to switch it up at times, try new stuff and do something different with your writings. What is not okay is doing all these to get liked. Likeability is not in itself bad. It becomes bad when you need it as the reason to write. Anytime you are in the dumps you need someone’s ”You are good writer”, ”I love your blog” to help you come through, then something is certainly not right.
Likeability can be toxic, it can (and will if you allow it) ruin your voice.
Build your self esteem, build your writing-esteem, develop your voice. Doing this makes you write knowing that you are already validated.
You are not writing so people can say you are good writer, you are writing because you know you are a good writer. When you write from a validated point of view, it changes things. You won’t depend on people you know or do not know to validate the worthiness and authenticity of your writings.