Sharing the words that you poured great thought into and wrote down is no easy task. I mean your audience could be as little as one person and as big as the whole entire population. As a creator on an online platform such as The Odyssey, I had so much fear in sharing my thoughts and my writing with the rest of the world.
What if I sound stupid? What if I receive harsh criticism? What if it's not eloquent enough?
All these "what if" statements made me doubt my capabilities and my ability to grow. By doing so, I was limiting myself by not challenging myself to become a better person even if that meant that I had to expose myself in a way that I had never done before.
Here's what you need to know before you start writing:
You're never going to publish anything if your fear of exposing yourself overtakes your desire to express yourself through your writing. Embrace the fear, but learn to let it go. It's all a learning process, in which you just need to go step by step and peel off each layer until you are truly comfortable with your writing.
You're not going to improve your writing skills by keeping it to yourself. John Steinbeck definitely did not start off with the ability to write Of Mice and Men in a single night. It probably took him a lot of long nights, draft after draft, and tons of criticism to get it to what it is now.
Learn to be okay with criticism by viewing it not as harsh, but as constructive - constructive criticism that can help you grow and become a better writer. Keep in mind that you can never impress everyone, but if you can make a single person smile as they read your article, that's good enough.
I remember that I was really discouraged when I couldn't think of things to write or when I wasn't getting a lot of views on my articles. There were plenty of times when I wanted to quit because I felt inadequate. But, trust me - it gets better.
You may feel inadequate now, but there is no better feeling than when you get comments, such as, "Thank you for writing about this." "I needed to read this today." "I really enjoyed reading this." Those comments motivated me because I learned to be okay with changing a single person's life rather than worry about the view count.
Taking the steps to think of what I wanted to write, to actually write that down, to receive feedback from my editor, to revise it, and finally to publish it was quite a long process. It may sound tedious and fruitless, but sooner or later, you'll realize that the more effort you put into your writing, the more people are able to see your passion for writing.
You may get writer's block and feel discouraged from time to time, but take things slowly. Gradually, you'll get there, and you'll make progress. It's all a learning process!