The Lalagirl Writing In Notebook

Confessions of a Nervous Writer

This past week was my first week with the Her Campus chapter at my university, and although I have much more to learn and understand, the beginning of this experience has brought about a great learning curve and has proven to be one that is worth facing. 

So far, I’ve met a like-minded, inspirational and wildly supportive set of young women who have made me feel like I am part of an inclusive community of aspiring writers and journalists like me.

With that being said, it has been a little bit intimidating as someone who is writing for an online media outlet for the first time to see so many successful and confident young writers.

So far, my conviction in my abilities have not gotten very far, and I feel (almost all the time) like I am not worthy enough to have a spot within an esteemed online magazine, or any magazine for that matter. 

As a writer, and hopefully someone reading this can relate, I have, and continue to struggle with many insecurities and uncertainties about my ability and my choice to make all of this into a career.

Here are some that I would like to share so that maybe we can all delve in our insecurities together! 


  1. 1. My messy thought process will be apparent

    Anna Schultz-Girl On Laptop In Bed

    Personally, especially when I begin writing, all of the ideas and concepts I may have for an article feel like a coil of yarn in my brain.

    They’re a jumble of words that feel like they relate, but I just don’t know how.

    It’s up to me to figure out how to organize these thoughts, which can be a daunting task.

    Although planning does help with this problem, sometimes planning also forces me to realize that there are missing pieces within my article.

    Additionally, for me, this cluttered mindset continues into my writing sessions.

    My best work comes while I’m writing, and it may be difficult for me to multitask between getting current ideas out on paper, while also wrestling my thoughts to articulate the ideas that are entering my mind as I write.

    This occurred when I was writing my last piece, and although I tried my best to make the article as coherent as possible, I still feared that in some places, these messy thought processes will occur, and hence it may be difficult for the reader to follow.

    These sudden spurts of good ideas are hard to insert without some context and construction, and sometimes I am not sure if I am making the best connection with the reader.

  2. 2. What does it say about me if I am letting the fear get to me?

    Sometimes I second-guess myself because of these insecurities.

    I’m not sure whether or not letting these feelings affect me makes me any less of a writer (I’m not even sure what that means) but I can’t help but wonder if it would be better if I was too full of myself rather than being hyper aware of my mistakes and flaws.

    I know that being scared is normal, but another fear I have is getting stuck in this constant cycle of fear and letting it negatively impact me in ways that will hurt more than help. 

  3. 3. I’m scared of not being able to deliver my best work

    As an avid reader of any type of news, whether it be entertainment or politics, I love to pay attention to the way people shape their words and get their message across.

    This is why I want to be a writer, because I want to find different ways to add my own perspective and contour my own words to make people think about the topics I write about.

    I read the articles and beautiful stories that my peers write, and I find that these pieces are a catalyst for thought and emotion, but then the question arises: what if I am incapable of making my writing evoke discussion and self-reflection the way that I would like it do?

    I am not only afraid of falling short of the expectations of people around me, but also my own and I’m trying to turn this self-imposed pressure into productive self-criticism instead. 

  4. 4. People won’t understand what I’m trying to say

    I’m sure we’ve all experienced this one. Sometimes I’m trying to write a very intellectual, very serious article, but it ends up sounding like 3 a.m. ramblings that would only make sense to me and nobody else.

    I’ll even read what I’ve written, imagining that I am anyone else but me. How would someone else perceive this?

    I’m sure that this is a necessary aspect of a writer’s intuition, but I recognize that it’s important for me to find the balance between paying attention to my audience while also giving self-worth, importance, and most importantly, confidence to my own voice.

    I would like achieve trust within the relationship between me and my writing, a kind of trust that makes me feel like I have complete control over what I write.

    And besides, there should be at least one person who will understand the message I’m trying to convey.

  5. 5. Do I even understand what I’m trying to say?

    Sometimes (admittedly most of the time) it feels like I don’t even know what my own voice is.

    For example, when that chaotic thought process begins, and the influx of ideas begin to hit me.

    Whenever I start writing, I begin to doubt every word I use and every idea I plan to communicate.

    It’s similar to that phenomenon of when you say a word over and over again, and at some point it doesn’t sound like a real word anymore.

    Another amusing thing? The irony is that this self-doubt invaded my mind as I wrote that last sentence.

    This is the worst part of writing.

    The realization (most times false) that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about and that possibly you shouldn’t be writing about a certain topic at all.

    I start out passionate when I pitch and when this happens, it does wear me down a little.

    Regardless, I know it will take a while to figure out how to obstruct this obstacle.

    Meanwhile, I’ll have my fingers crossed that this utter state of confusion isn’t apparent in everything that I write. 

    As I write this, I feel like I don’t even know if what I’m saying makes sense and I’m not even sure if anything that I’ve written within this piece thus far is good enough.

    I think this, and then I tell myself to not pay attention to trying to be “good enough.”

Then, I’m trying to be as honest as possible, but sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to be honest, which can feel backwards.

Furthermore, I always see my writing relative to other writers that I look up to, when I should be focusing on my own work.

All of this is difficult to unlearn.

As someone who is beginning to write for an audience, I have learned that the most important thing right now is to stay true to my own voice.

I understand that means I need to slowly disengage with my current mentality and create one that allows me to be as open as possible with myself and with my relationship with the words that I write.

Although this journey is going to be a tough one, I am extremely excited to be able to work on the parts of myself that will support me in growing as a writer and as a woman.