While it is definitely advisable to achieve a fair degree of knowledge of writing and publishing before you go ahead, if you are a writer who NEVER feels like your work is either good enough, or ready enough, then I advocate taking Hugh Laurie’s advice.
There are so many ways you can self-sabotage your writing career, and the first step to heading them off is to recognise them in yourself.
Your conscious mind may well pose such valid statements as:
- what makes you think you can write a book that’s good enough to publish?
- You’re only an amateur, why do you think you can compete against professionals?
- Can you handle it if you put your work out there, and everyone hates it?
You may also be a victim of LOSER’S LIMP (back to a sporting analogy here, but it still fits):
- You started too late in life
- You didn’t have a good enough education at school
- You never learned how to use word processing programmes, it’s too late to start now.
With these ‘reasons’, you take the pressure off yourself and give yourself permission to fail – or not even start!
With these ‘reasons’ you are giving yourself a ‘get out’ clause that will be self-fulfilling: they allow you to write stuff that is not your best work, and then justify that lack of quality using your mind’s pre-prepared ‘reason’.
Don’t let yourself be a victim
Once you acknowledge these ‘reasons’ that your conscious mind is supplying, you no longer need to allow them to rule your life.
I can guarantee you, if you search you will find plenty of examples of writers who had all these issues and more to contend with, but didn’t allow them to stop them from writing damned good books!
- Writers who started publishing in their retirement.
- Writers who had little formal school education but took it upon themselves to learn as adults.
- Writers who had to work at bizarre times of day to fit their writing around family, children, work etc.
Take a good look at your ‘reasons’ for not getting on with writing or publishing, bring them out into the light and examine them.
Then take a look at all the people who overcame the same obstacles.
You CAN do it too!
Don’t allow your mind to talk you out of it, when writing is what you really want to do – there is always a way, and there is always an example of someone who already dealt with your issues and just did it.
Back to sports psychology to wrap up this segment – the Nike slogan ‘JUST DO IT’ is what I exhort you to embrace.
No excuses – pardon me, ‘reasons’…
Authors, please do share the obstacles you’ve overcome, it’s always inspiring to hear success stories, no matter how small – every tiny step is a building block in the path to success.