How to Overcome Fear and Step Into the Writer’s Life

Bob Sands

Felix Baumgartner is an interesting guy. In case you don’t know him, he’s the man who skydived into the history books on October 14, 2012. He ascended to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere and jumped from a capsule at an estimated altitude of 24 miles.

Bob Sands here, taking over this week’s The Writer’s Life.

Do you feel like it’s time for you to finally make the leap into the writer’s life? Have you decided, “This will be my year”?

Taking that first step can be a little daunting. Sometimes just the thought of it causes your heart to race. You want to start your business, but fear seems to be holding you back.

Felix Baumgartner’s first step was a doozy. So much could have gone wrong. What if the parachute didn’t open? What if his body went into an uncontrollable spin? What if the G’s he pulled were so intense he lost consciousness?

But he didn’t let the fear stop him. He stepped out of that capsule.

What made Felix Baumgartner push through the fear and take that step?


He prepared meticulously. He had made hundreds of jumps before this one. He simulated this jump over and over trying to prepare for any and all possible challenges. He wore a specialized suit that had been tested repeatedly.

And, he wasn’t alone. He had medical personnel, trainers and advisors speaking to him along the way. There was even a computer program that would open his parachute in the event he was incapacitated.

Confucius put it this way, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”

That’s why you have to prepare in the best way possible …

 … and then, you just have to take the leap.

Here are some lessons from Baumgartner’s world-record parachute jump that can help you reach your writer’s life goal:

First, write something, write anything. Baumgartner didn’t begin with a 24-mile jump. In fact, he had taken hundreds of base jumps, pushing himself a little farther each time. If you haven’t yet written for publication, write an article and post it or offer to write a guest blog post. Put together a small website or write a sales letter marketing your services and ask another copywriter to help you critique it.

Second, assemble a team to help. None of us walks this journey alone. There are online forums and groups and regular copy critique virtual meetings that can help you improve quickly. Hang out with people that are further along than you are, so you’ll be challenged to take your writing to the next level.

Third, just take the first step. At some point with all the preparation, it’s time to take your first step. There are far too many people that get caught in an endless loop of “taking one more course” or “reading one more book.” Step out! When you do, you’ll see the net is already there, because of YOUR preparation.

More than a few years ago, I was given my own daily radio broadcast because I stepped out and asked. I had only been on the radio prior to that as a caller. I realized that I needed help! It was a five-minute daily motivational program that I had to script, produce and record. My wife was my editor and the board operator at the station walked me through the rest. Those two years on that show taught me to write tight and contributed to where I am today.

So, take the first step, you never know where it might lead.

What steps do you still need to take? What step will you take TODAY? Tell me about it in the comments.

Join me again tomorrow as we look at why seeing really isn’t believing.

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Published: January 12, 2015

16 Responses to “How to Overcome Fear and Step Into the Writer’s Life”

  1. You are right Bob. I know a lot of people getting read, getting ready, getting ready but never get going.

    It is sad & frustrating because I care about them. Yet, only they can make a go of their dreams.

    Oh, well, to each his own.

    Thank you for the reminder. I enjoyed the article.

    Guest (Emma V Webb author)

  2. Hey Bob

    Yes, it is much better to play Cha-Cha with life than never move! :D

    Thank you for an enlightening article. I am going to be pitching my first article this week, so please wish me luck!

    Best wishes Kit

    Guest (Kit)

  3. Great article Bob! You are right...sometimes we have to just jump. I am taking a step today by commenting here, in hopes of getting more actively involved with the AWAI Community!

    Kurt Simmons

  4. It is my objective, to exercise my entrepreneurial spirit and execute my travel business in 2015. I have worked tirelessly on developing small business in my past and I have followed AWAI for quit some time now. I believe I can deliver on the expectations of the organization and the reading at large. This will be done by reaches 'the senses' and communicate on the experiential economy. I operated a hot air balloon company in the 90's and it was my life. Adventure never leaves the mind. Can you help me find my starting point as I am operating under 'paralysis through analysis??

    Guest (Gerry)


    Guest (chana)

  6. It's like you wrote this article directly to me...I've been dipping and dabbing in this program for the better part of a year before I finally decided to buckle down and do it finally. I finally reached that point of just becoming fed up with how my life is and committing to do something to change it. Now I've reached the end of the course and I'm rather frozen as to how to REALLY get's a little overwhelming but I know I need to make some moves.

    Jessica Terry

  7. So glad you wrote this article. I am exactly in this place right now where I've done several awai courses but I'm stuck at the prospecting for clients part. Gonna make a list and try some positive self talk.


  8. Thanks The action that I am taking today is to create my own website and start my blogs ---let us see how it works

    Guest (Turab)

  9. I love the thought of being a good writer. I have my cowardly moments especially when the hanks has its hooks in my back. Maybe I should have been a ballerina, because I can tip toe on egg shells pretty dam good. I have taken a few steps to prepare to overcome my fear, and take that leap of faith. reading, gardening, organizing my home office, moving my schedule around. and uncluttering my environment helped. I am taking a course in website building with Nick Usboure beginning Tuesday JD

    Guest (Julie D)

  10. I enjoyed this article and feel inspired to move a little faster -ie, I haven't done anything yet!! I am starting on Nick Usborne's course today and also had Orientation on "21 Days ---" by Barefoot Writer Consultants. I hav e enrolled on the Companion series to the 6-figure Copywriting Course - and other courses, but NOW I NEED TO START doing them and hopefully produce something very soon! Thanks for your encouragement and support.

    Guest (Bernie)

  11. Awesome! What a wonderful opportunity to master the art of writing and to break out joyously from the shackles of impeding fear in writing. I honestly think this is going to be fun at it best.


  12. Thanks Bob. for this article. i have been here for some months now and am yet to enroll in the accelerated program, i wish to do that as soon as possible. Also, i need to begin writing few blogs and i need a website too. Do you know how i can easily get a website?

    Guest (Sammy)

  13. Thanks Bob for this article. It made me really believe in the fact that we must make our own luck. Learning as much as you can and preparing one's self for what comes next is so very important. I believe, for the first time, I am taking the plunge. And here I am sitting so close to age 70. What took me so long, you ask? Getting involved in life and not taking time for me. Now with my retirement, I now have that time. Working hard to make it happen. Excited!

    Guest (Carlana Brown)

  14. Bob--following your advice and posting a comment (for the first time!) to this forum.

    In September I discovered AWAI's Accelerated Copywriting and felt this was perfect for me, but without any deadlines to push me it's been slow going.

    When AWAI offered a payment plan for this years Bootcamp in October, I decided to jump on it, which then inspired me to sign up for the Accelerate Companion Series.

    Hopefully, that will give me time to do some spec writing before Bootcamp begins.

    Julia Pero

  15. GREETINGS Bob,

    Wonderful article and my 1st Step was signing up (membership) in AWAI.
    2nd step is pursuing Training in Internet Research (or??) as well acquisition of Accelerated Training to 6 Figure Income as a base/push course and UTILIZE IT.

    I am a long/short haul truck driver and "finding the time" to secure my future is a big challenge for when I am working, I am working and when I am not, fears creep in.

    I'll be 58 soon, I NEED AWAI!!

    Bob, thanks b 2 you!!


    G Eric Gaither

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