Writing over my own fears

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I recently wrote an article about writing through fear. I’m good at telling others how to use writing for their own healing and self-discovery but as the saying goes, “Physician, heal thyself.” I realized there are issues I have resisted for years. I’ve tried to write from a deeper place to find healing but always given into the discomfort and never pushed through it. I wouldn’t allow myself to write because I was afraid of the truth I might write down. Then I would have to come to terms with it. Much easier to be unhappy than faced with an ugly truth.

So last night I confronted my own fears head on. And it wasn’t much fun.

At first I didn’t want to get started. I wrote, “I DO NOT want to be doing this. I’d rather be watching TV.” I wrote words to that effect until I was past the initial block. “I am afraid… of what? I am afraid of…. yes, what?” And so I went on having a conversation with myself. My one side stuttered and faltered over how to express what was going on while the other side kept asking questions to encourage me to keep writing. I allowed words to pop into my head even if they didn’t appear to make sense and I wrote them down. Eventually I wrote my own truth – for six pages. I didn’t like it much.

Then I got this urge – that’s the only way I can describe it – this idea popped into my head and it became a need to pick up a different colored pen and write over what I had just written. At first I thought, well, that’s just silly and wouldn’t be denying what I just wrote? But then I did it. I even flipped my journal upside down and wrote a new truth over the old one. I literally turned my past on its head and wrote my future over it.

It was powerful to see my positive, forward looking words (in bright pink ink) obliterating the fears written beneath (in dull brown). I said, “This very moment is my future and the past is no more. I have the power to re-write my own story. I choose my future and I choose happiness.

It might seem silly that just turning my journal upside down and essentially making a big unreadable mess on the page would have any effect on my thinking but it was symbolic and it seemed to work. I felt lighter and empowered. I really felt like I could re-write my own story and leave the past behind right where it belongs.

Prompt: Write, “I’m afraid…” until you are so sick of your own whining that you have to stop. Then flip the book upside down and write over your fears, “The truth is…

(A more instructional version of this post can be found here.)


Please visit my Examiner.com page for articles on Journaling for Kids, Organization and almost everything in between.

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7 thoughts on “Writing over my own fears

  1. What a wonderful idea! The symbolism of this exercise is powerful and moving. There are some issues in my life I’ve been resisting writing about as well, and now I have a way to write about them. Thank you!

    • I hope it works for you! It was like my subconscious knew what I needed to help me – which of course it does, always, if we just shut up and listen! Good luck to you.

  2. Hello Miss, I’m having trouble accessing my FB at the moment and can’t find just a straightforward email address for you, so I’m forwarding a link to your site to the once-a-month-writers-group (aka “Open Door”) and here I will provide you with the facilitator’s name and contact info:
    Mary Holland, Imagine93@verizon.net. She is also on FB but apparently doesn’t use it frequently.
    Talk to you soon, my dear writing pal!

  3. Hi, I also just took a peek at your Examiner article of June 3 (this year?–it came up as almost the first item in a GS for “VT writer’s group”)…anyway, you don’t mention the Green Mountain Writers Conference in Tinmouth in August…might toss that one in, too. ?

    • Thanks – I’ll look up the info and include it. I’ll add Open Door when I have more info. Glad to know I’m at the top of the google search!

  4. Pingback: expressive writing technique: scrawl over your past « worthwrite

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