Friday Challenge – Conquering Your Fears

Friday Challenge – Week 4

Welcome to week 4 of our motivational posts written by Shelley Wilson author of How I Changed My Life In A Year.

Shelley has been helping us with ideas about how to make our lives better places to live in with easy to follow fun challenges, if you have missed any here are links to the previous weekly posts. Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Over to Shelley…

Shelley Wilson

Conquering Your Fears


As a writer, there is nothing as pleasurable as sitting at your laptop and letting the words flow. Writing has been a favourite past-time of mine for over thirty years. So why did the prospect of taking part in one of the largest writing competitions fill me with such fear?


It is often the thing we want so much that we dread the most, the reason for this is a simple fear of failure. Every year over 350,000 writers sign up to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), all dedicated to producing a 50,000 word manuscript in just 30 days.


When I started writing my blog, which would eventually lead to my book How I Changed My Life in a Year, I knew that if I publicly announced my intent to take part, I wouldn’t be able to back out. I pushed myself to face my fears, and I began to research how other NaNoers had accomplished this heady feat. Outlining, plotting and research seemed to be the answer.


Organisation was key. I created a Pinterest board for my character inspiration and filled a notebook with my ideas for plot and scenes. Taking part in NaNoWriMo taught me the value of outlining and full character profiles. I was as ready as I could be when the 1st November arrived.


Nine days later I hit 50,296 words.


The beauty of this event is how, even if you don’t make the 50,000 word count, you can get involved in the community. You can post in the forums and learn a great deal from experts in every imaginable field and ‘meet’ new people. Writing is a solitary affair, but I’ve never felt more supported than when I was a NaNoer.


With all doubts firmly squashed I realised, fears are never as bad as you thought they would be, or as I tell my personal development students, FEAR is simply False Evidence Appearing Real.


I learnt a great deal taking part in this challenge. You are not alone; you can do anything you set your mind to, and you can enjoy writing and the beauty of a deadline to hone your skills. Finally I learnt it was possible to ask a question, ‘If I stab someone in the heart with a sword will they die instantly?’ and not get arrested. I do love a good writers’ forum.


Challenge accepted and achieved. I am happy to confirm that my original NaNo manuscript has been re-worked, edited and is in the final stages ready for publication, only made possible because I faced my fears. I extend my challenge to you – do one thing today that scares you.

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