I am delighted to feature a guest post today from my friend and fellow coach, bestselling author Debbie Rieber. Debbie is in the business of helping people get the books in their heads written, sold, and out into the world. As someone who is writing a book now, I know that we authors need all the help we can get!
In this post, she helps to disprove some of the myths that keep us stuck and afraid to write. Enjoy!
Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to strengthen your platform or someone with a body of research, a story, or a unique point of view you feel compelled to share, writing a book seems to be one of those “I-want-to-do-it-before-I-die” kind of things for many people.
But despite a deep desire to write a book, many would-be writers never make it past page one, the process of writing a book too shrouded in myth and mystery to take the risk.
I’ve talked with many people who know they want to write a book but struggle to commit to the goal and asked them, What exactly is getting in your way?
Through their answers, I discovered many people subscribe to the same core myths:
It’s too hard (or the variation, I’m not smart enough).
I have nothing of value to say (or the variation, Why would anyone care about what I have to say?).
I don’t know how to do it.
People will judge me (or the variation, No one will take me seriously).
What if no one likes it?
I’ll never finish it, so why start?
Those myths sound familiar? They do to me. I’ve obsessed on pretty much all of them at one point or another during the writing of my first few books.
But as it turns out, like most myths and unhelpful beliefs, none of them are actually true. When you look beyond the myths, it turns out writing a book doesn’t have to be scary after all. (So what are you waiting for?)
Myth: It’s too hard (or I’m not smart enough).
Reality: Writing a book is no harder than any other skill or craft. It’s simply using written language to express a collection of ideas in a coherent way. When you break it down, use the resources available (of which there are many), and commit to the mastering the craft, it becomes a doable achievement worth pursuing. Challenging? Sure. But too hard? Definitely not.
Myth: I have nothing of value to say (or Why would anyone care about what I have to say?)
Reality: If you feel a pull to write a book, then you have something to say. And when you honor your creative muse by allowing it to be expressed in an authentic, intentional way, your people – your audience – will respond to your creation. Remember: no one else has the capability to write the book you would write.
Myth: I don’t know how to do it.
Reality: Take a class. Buy a book on book writing. Research online. Talk to other writers. Practice your craft. No one was born knowing how to write a book.
Myth: People will judge me (or No one will take me seriously).
Reality: This is lizard brain thinking at its best. Worrying about what others will think about you and your book puts you in the unfortunate position of letting others determine your value. The question is, what do you think about yourself? When you take yourself seriously, others will too. Step into your role as an author and do it for yourself.
Myth: What if no one likes it?
Reality: Let’s be clear: There will be people who don’t like what you write. There are people who don’t like Shakespeare and Tolstoy. And that’s okay. Because there will also be people who will like your book (and I’m not just talking about your parents). Get out of the habit of worrying about what “everyone” will think and put your energy into writing for yourself and for your intended audience.
Myth: I’ll never finish it, so why bother starting?
Reality: If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this: If you don’t start, you definitely won’t finish. In fact, starting may just about be the most important part of the equation. Set the goal, pick a start date, stick to it, and take the writing one day, one word, and one page at a time.
Debbie Reber is a bestselling author, speaker, and life coach whose passion is supporting writers, creative entrepreneurs, and teen girls in creating whatever they want in their life with confidence. Debbie is the author of more than a dozen books, including her most recent book for young women, Chill: Stress-Reducing Techniques for a More Balanced, Peaceful You. She is currently enrolling writers for her 12-week teleclass, Write Your Irresistible Book Proposal (http://www.debbiereber.com/
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I was excited when I first started writing, but I had a bad experience with my publisher (who stole $10,000) so that put me off in a big way.
Thanks for this article, I found it very insightful.
“If you don’t start, you definitely won’t finish.” – so true! Even though I am great at starting things and then sometimes losing traction, I hope it won’t happen when I finally start writing my first book. You have to set your expectations right, I guess.
Thank you for this article!
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I really like how you break down each of the thoughts, which form the mental resistance, that keep us from taking steps that we need to accomplish things. I have seen some people, who are delusional about their abilities, but the vast majority of people do not have an accurate view of themselves. They have much more to offer than they believe. Thanks for a great article.
Thanks Ken…so glad you enjoyed it!
Its the perception which causes issues.
This is cool Debbie.
It reminds me of a post by Daren Rowse last year. Basically he said that you can do amazing things if you dedicate 15 minutes to it every day.
100 days = 25 hours.
People are always saying how they don’t have time to write a book well maybe it’s time to have another look.
Yes, Darnell… so true. Break it down, chip away at it, and you will eventually get it done!
Great addition, Cheryl…thank you! And I couldn’t agree more…if you feel the pull, there’s a reason!
I support authors and soon to be authors as well and I agree, the biggest roadblock is usually a person’s mindset and the fears you mention. All of the externals, how to write it, how to publish it, how to promote it, can be taken care of now. There are more resources available than anyone can ever possibly use.
I’ll add my voice to yours and say if you feel the prompt to write, or if someone has told you you should write, there’s probably something to it. Pay attention 🙂