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Turn Your Writing Fears into Characters

Transform your fears into characters to diminish their power

By Rick MartinezPublished about a month ago 4 min read
Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash

Feeling like an imposter when you pick up the pen? 

You're not alone. 

Anxieties can cripple your writing process, making it hard to get words on the page. But there's a better way. Instead of letting your fears dominate your thoughts, you can turn them into quirky characters in your stories. 

Humor can be a powerful tool to transform fear into creative fuel. Here's how to do it.

Name Your Fears

First, give your fears names. 

Imagine them as characters in your story. Naming your fears takes away some of their power and makes them more manageable. For example, if you're afraid of rejection, name that fear "Nervous Ned." If you worry about failure, call it "Anxious Andy." 

By naming these fears, you start to see them as separate entities rather than a part of yourself.

Give Them Quirks

Once you've named your fears, give them quirks. 

Make these characters vivid and memorable. Maybe Nervous Ned has a habit of biting his nails and always wears mismatched socks. Anxious Andy might stutter when he talks and constantly checks his watch. These quirks make your fears more tangible and less intimidating. They also add depth to your stories, turning your anxieties into something relatable and even humorous.

Write Them into Your Stories

Now that your fears have names and quirks, write them into your stories. 

Personify them and let them interact with your main characters. For example, if your protagonist is about to make a big decision, Nervous Ned might appear, biting his nails and whispering doubts into the protagonist's ear. 

By integrating your fears into your stories, you can explore them in a creative and controlled way, reducing their power over you in real life.

Use Humor to Defuse Fear

Humor is a powerful tool for defusing fear. 

When you turn your anxieties into characters with quirks and humorous traits, you can laugh at them. This laughter diminishes their power. Instead of seeing your fears as insurmountable obstacles, you start to view them as minor annoyances that you can handle. For instance, imagine Anxious Andy tripping over his own feet in a comical way while trying to scare your protagonist. 

This not only lightens the mood of your story but also makes your fears less threatening.

Example: A Scene with Anxious Andy

Picture this: Your protagonist, Sarah, is about to give a big presentation. Just as she starts, Anxious Andy shows up, stuttering and checking his watch. "Are you sure you're ready for this?" he asks, tripping over a chair. Sarah takes a deep breath, smiles, and replies, "Yes, Andy, I am." By personifying Anxious Andy and giving him a humorous interaction with Sarah, you transform the fear of failure into a manageable and even amusing scenario.

Confront Your Fears in Fiction

Writing your fears into your stories gives you a safe space to confront them. 

In the real world, facing anxieties can be overwhelming. But in fiction, you have control. You can decide how these fear characters interact with your protagonists and how they ultimately overcome them. This process not only helps you manage your own anxieties but also makes your stories richer and more engaging.

Use Your Characters as a Template

Here's a simple template to get you started:

  1. Identify a fear.
  2. Name it.
  3. Give it quirks and traits.
  4. Write it into a scene.

For instance, if you're afraid of criticism, you might create a character called "Critical Chris," who has a habit of interrupting and wears overly tight suits. Then, write a scene where your protagonist encounters Critical Chris and deals with his interruptions in a clever way. This approach turns an abstract fear into a concrete character you can manage.

Reinforce with Real-Life Examples

To reinforce these steps, look at real-life examples. J.K. Rowling turned her fear of depression into the Dementors in the Harry Potter series. 

By personifying her anxiety, she created a powerful and relatable villain that resonated with readers. Similarly, you can take your fears and turn them into memorable characters that enhance your stories and help you cope with anxiety.

Personalize the Process

This method is highly personal. 

What works for one writer might not work for another. The key is to tailor the approach to your specific fears and writing style. If you're more comfortable with light-hearted humor, make your fear characters silly. If you prefer a darker tone, give them more ominous traits. 

The goal is to make your fears tangible and manageable, whatever that looks like for you.

The final word…

Transforming your fears into characters is a powerful way to diminish their hold on you. 

By naming them, giving them quirks, and writing them into your stories, you take control of your anxieties and turn them into creative fuel. This approach not only helps you cope with imposter syndrome but also enriches your writing with deeper, more relatable characters. So, next time fear strikes, grab your pen and turn it into a character. 

You'll find that your anxieties lose their power, and your creativity soars.

Craving more? If I were you, I'd grab this ASAP.


About the Creator

Rick Martinez

I help CEOs & entrepreneurs write & publish books that give them authority & legacy | Bestselling author | Former CEO turned ghostwriter |

California born, Texas raised.

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Comments (2)

  • Cathy Moneyabout a month ago

    Love this!

  • Sweileh 888about a month ago

    Interesting and delicious content, keep posting more now

Rick MartinezWritten by Rick Martinez

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