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The Stupid Beliefs That Stop You From Being A Writer
Sometimes we writers are our own worst enemies. We spend so much time wallowing in a pit of self-doubt, beating ourselves up for not doing enough, and smarting from rejection that we end up shying away from writing altogether.
There are many things we tell ourselves that hold us back. But facing up to them can make all the difference.
Here are the stupid beliefs that can stop you from writing.
My book has to be amazing
Writing a book is a huge undertaking. Writing the perfect book is impossible. Sometimes it’s OK to lower the bar and be realistic with your expectations. You don’t need to write the best book in the world. In fact, it’s good to accept that, your first draft at least will be pretty rubbish. If you put too much pressure on yourself you’ll end up not being able to write anything good enough, and spend so much time trying to make each and every sentence perfect that you’ll never get any real writing done. Your aim should be to get the book written – you can go back and make it great after you’ve got it down.
Writing fiction is too difficult
While no one can argue that writing a book is a challenge, constantly telling yourself it’s too difficult won’t get you anywhere. If you find it all a bit overwhelming the best thing to do is to break it down. Plan your book carefully. Do the research, write chapter outlines. Then when you get going you’ll know exactly what to write and already have a firm idea of how it is all going to pan out.
I’ve got to have fans before I release my book.
In an ideal world you already have a successful blog, have had several short stories published in high profile magazines, and have thousands of followers on social media. However doing this takes a lot of work in itself, and for most of us we just simply don’t have the time. The good news is you don’t need a giant readership already in place to launch your book. Write a good book, have a clever marketing plan and you have a solid chance of seeing your book take off.
My book must be completely unique.
It’s horrible when you excitedly tell someone the plot of your book and they go ‘Oh yes, that sounds just like…’ The truth is that no matter how hard we try almost everything has been done before. But no one has written your story the way you’ll tell it -if your book has similar themes to another one then at least you know there are readers out there who will enjoy it!
I need a publisher or an agent to be successful
So many authors, even well-established ones, now choose the self-publishing route in order to sell their books. There are thousands of authors who have made a successful career from self-publishing. So can you!
I’m a terrible writer and an imposter!
So many great writers think they are bad writers – you could be one of them! Even if you have the smallest amount of success you feel like a fraud who is about to be ‘found out.’ You don’t tell people you are a writer because you feel silly doing so.
If you want to be a writer and you write then you are one.
Don’t hide behind your insecurities – believe in yourself, be proud of yourself and don’t let anything stop you!
I need to do [insert excuse here] before I can finish my book.
Whether it’s reading it over one more time, redesigning your author website, or getting a thousand people on your email newsletter list there is always something stopping you from writing. If we let ourselves, the list of things we have to do before launching our book will go on forever. There has to be a point where you bite the bullet. Give yourself a deadline and stick to it, and then take a big deep breath, and go.
The path to finishing and launching your book is long and full of obstacles, but once you get to the end it is so worth it! So don’t let stupid beliefs stand in your way – believe in yourself and what you are capable of, you can do it!