It’s much easier NOT to believe in yourself, than it is to believe in yourself.
Don’t I know it.
Writing a book and publishing it, isn’t just one and done. You have to sustain that belief and keep saying yes, day after day. The strength and perseverance you gain by writing a book is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. When you finish, your whole life is different.
This quote by George Eliot that has always been one of my favorites.
"It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees."
This is the reward of continually saying yes to yourself as an author. You create that foundation, you plant that rose bush, and then you continue grow from there. It’s why I love my job!
And yet, I find it’s easier to say “YES” to a creative act when you acknowledge all the “NOs” trying to pull you in the opposite direction. All these reasons not to write a book have become some of my closest companions over the years, because I’m continually coaching myself out of them, and others too.
These blocks that stop you from writing your book are actually like Russian castling dolls. Each one builds on top of the other. That’s why I want to bust through them and get to the core!
Have a read and find out which one is bugging you the most. Once you get to the heart of the problem, there’s no turning back!
1. Can´t Find the Time
For most people, the first impetus to write a book is directly followed by the question, “How am I ever going to have time to do that?” After all, we never seem to have time to change our lives. This is the first big yes to creativity. Finding the split second to write the idea down on paper.
My advice is start with one second, then expand that to 5 minutes, and before you know it, you’re going to call a babysitter, or get up early, or find a whole hour in the oddest corners.
2. Frustration with the Process
Once you find the time to write a book, it can be THRILLING some days. Other days, not so thrilling. When you get blocked or insecure, writing and figuring things out can be down right hard. This is when many people quit. However, I see “difficult” as an opportunity.
It’s been said that over 80% of the population dream of writing books, but less than 1% actually do. I like to think of the whole process statistically. The first day you pick up a pen, you move from 80% of the population to 79%. When you come back again, you become statistically more rare, until finally you make it to that coveted 1% of the population that call themselves authors.
3. Other Priorities take Overwriting
We all experiences setbacks. Some are serious, some are devastating, and some are actually just excuses that allow us procrastinate. However, writing is the great equalizer, in that no matter what has happened, allows you to find the meaning. When life happens, be patient with yourself and then take it to the page. The more interesting your experiences are, the more value you provide as an author.
4. Not Enough
The question, “What the hell was I thinking?” will inevitably cross the mind of every creator. I think even God must have asked himself this question at some point. However as long as the earth keeps turning, creation still gets a “Yes.” It takes courage to create. It’s much easier to do nothing. Even if your manuscript isn’t perfect upon conception, every day you come back to it is a step forward.
5. Fear of What People Will Say
Showing your work to others can be an emotional roller coaster, especially when it’s new. It’s good to do this gradually, beginning with beta readers, then expanding to your community, and marketing your book more and more over time. The good news is that your audience grows gradually. You don’t have to have stage fright, because you will most likely encounter your fans before you encounter your critics. These days, selling books is about connecting and promoting. Nobody will be throwing tomatoes right out of the gate.
6. It Doesn´t Matter
We all have an annoying inner critic that puts us down and sinks us into a rut. Don’t despair. Even if you’re fighting with your project, it’s still in play. The real death knell of creativity is, “This doesn’t matter.” You stop picking up your pen. You don’t bother to seek out inspiration. You don’t even challenge your inner critic anymore, and all the brilliant possibilities and opportunities of following through slip quietly out the back door. For me, this is enemy #1, because your writing does matter, just as you matter. The beauty of a story is that it gives the human experience meaning and value. You exist; therefore, you should create.
And if you want to build momentum, I have great news! Next week I’ll be running 4 Day Creative Breakthrough Challenge. It includes:
1. Getting to the Emotional Core of Your Book and the Secret to a Great First Paragraph
2. Maximizing Your Writing Time: Make the Most of Every Minute
3. Breaking Through Resistance: How to Conquer Your Inner Critic
4. Establish a Regular Writing Practice and Create Structure
That’s just the beginning of the excitement that will be coming your way before my course is released next week. If you’re interested in participating in the challenge just LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW and I’ll make sure you’re tagged!
Can’t wait to get the festivities rolling!