1. Don’t read and reread your finished work. It’s not going to help you feel less anxious.
2. Also, don’t try to change things last-minute to make them closer to “perfect.” There is no such thing. There comes a point when you just have to accept it for what it is and release it into the wild.
3. Don’t think about any negative criticism you might get. You shouldn’t let potential negativity stop you from even giving people the opportunity to respond negatively to your work.
4. Don’t seek out feedback from everyone you know and trust. Not everyone is going to give you the feedback you think you want, and it’s probably just going to make you feel worse!
5. If you’re in control of when your work gets published, schedule it out in advance, write the date down, and then move on. You might even forget about it for a day while you wait, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
6. Will you tell your circles in advance that you’re publishing something, or tell no one and make it a surprise? Decide which route will make you feel the most excited, which will ideally calm your nerves at least a little bit.
7. Keep in mind that it’s OK to publish things that aren’t perfect. This is how we learn. This is how we grow.
8. Understand that you might not feel “proud” of what you’ve written. Our toughest critic is always our inner dialogue. Just because you don’t think it’s the best thing you’ve ever written doesn’t mean it’s “bad.”
9. Remember that in your mind, the worst thing that could happen as a result of you publishing something you wrote will probably never actually happen.
10. Decide beforehand the steps you’re going to take right after you publish, and what you’re going to do after that to prevent yourself from constantly checking if anyone has read or responded to what you wrote. :)
11. BE PROUD OF YOURSELF! You have already written something amazing. You finished a thing, a thing you’re considering showing the world. That. Is. Amazing!
12. If all else fails, just sit down at your computer, take a deep breath, hit that publish/share button, and walk away. For many people, that step is the hardest. But it certainly doesn’t have to be.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.