Declutter Your Mind – What Do you Need to Purge to Write Better?

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By Tammie Fickas

With the pandemic and people spending more time at home, decluttering seems to be a hot topic. Going from working too many hours to a forty hour a week job to working from home, I’m surrounded by my stuff, and I’ve realized there’s way too much of it. So, I jumped on the bandwagon and as my momma used to say, started “ridding out.”

Like so many people, I’ve sorted through my possessions and evaluated the purpose and value of each. During the process I’ve found items I’ve forgotten about and some I don’t even remember where I got them or why. After the work is done, when the space is fresh and organized, a feeling of lightness and openness fills me. I feel like I focus better and it feels good.

Today as I enjoyed this peace, I realized my experience relates to writing.  Here are three things a writer should “rid out” in order to improve their writing.

Fear of Failure

Many writers struggle with fear of failure. Writing is often a personal endeavor in that we put our hearts into our projects. When someone doesn’t like our baby or it doesn’t resonate with the reader, it hurts. We’ve given one hundred percent and it’s fallen flat.

Writing from a place of fear is tough. As Christian writers, God has placed our talents within us. He’s given us the gift of words. Place those words in your keep pile but toss that fear that you might fail into the discard pile. Without the fear, God will have the room to maneuver your writing to a place of purpose.

Fear of Not Being Good Enough

You’ve kicked your fear of failure to the curb and wrote that story. Feeling the freedom of your newfound wide openness, you’ve submitted your baby to a contest or to a publisher. And then you wait, but pretty soon the room in your life starts to fill again. Questions stack up in your mind. The next thing you know, you’re turning sideways to sidle your way through all those doubts to find your voice. You begin to wonder if you’re good enough.

We all have to start somewhere. Embrace where you are and do the work. Put in the hours. Study the lessons. Move those negative thoughts out of your space. Fill your writing life with meaningful actions instead of the useless worries.

Fear of Being Just Another Voice in the Crowd

Finally, your writing life is getting into ship shape. You’ve conquered the obstacles, continued to improve and now your story is out there – along with thousands of others. You survey the scene and see a plethora of books. Does the world really need your book? As you consider this, the clutter in your brain overwhelms you.

Writer, don’t let those questions choke the life out of your writing. Pack them up and send them off to the thrift store. Everyone has a unique outlook. While the basics of the story may be the same, no two writers are going to craft their tale in the same way. If you’ve employed those useful tools that hit the keep pile, your story will be just what someone needs. It will be the right voice.

Fearing failure, not being good enough, or being just another voice take up space but offer nothing in return. It’s time to grab an empty box to gather up your fears and discard of them. Decluttering these things will freshen up your writing life and as Marie Kondo would say, spark joy in your life.

Declutter these three fears from your life to freshen up your writing by Tammie Fickas. #ACFWBlogs #writetips #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet

Tammie Fickas loves Jesus, her kitty Wilson, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest. She believes your dreams are important to God and He can fulfill them in unexpected ways. Tammie writes to inspire women to dream big, fear less, and live now. Find her at


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