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Get Over What’s Holding You Back From Writing Your Book – Here’s How

Written by: Cori Wamsley, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Between mindset and the unknown, I’m sometimes surprised that we humans get anything done at all! This counts double for writing a book, and probably triple for writing a book for your brand.

Girl Sitting on wooden table writing a book inside the house.

According to an article by Stanford University, “While mindsets can be helpful for distilling information and managing expectations, they can also be maladaptive, lead to interpersonal problems and feelings of guilt, inadequacy, sadness and anxiety.”


Even though it’s important for coaches, speakers, and nonprofit leaders to have a book that speaks to their expertise and shows that they truly get the struggles of their readers, many of them go years, even decades, without penning their book because of the negative thoughts that keep popping up.


As a writing coach, I’ve talked with tons of people over the years who have a big message for the masses and keep it locked up on their hard drives, or worse, in their heads.


Any number of reasons can keep your words from getting out to the world, but these are a few common ones, along with some tweaks to help you bust through the block!


No one will read this.


Every single author has thoughts like this. They believe that no one cares about their story, that they are terrible writers, or that no one knows who they are. An audience is out there for everything! Just check online sales sites if you don’t believe me!


The problem with this thought is that it’s a mindset trap. The best way to get around it is to start out with some very basic exercises. First, write down who your audience is and why they need a book like this. List all the things that they will get out of the book and how it will help them with their current challenges. If you’re writing more of a memoir, then it can be as simple as connecting with someone else who has a similar or unique story. Remember that people read for all sorts of reasons, and one of the big ones is to find a simpler, less painful way to overcome a challenge. Your book could bridge the gap.


This exercise is great because you need to do it anyway to start your book, AND you can refer back to it whenever you have doubts again. It’s good to think about the people who truly need your story so you can reach those specific people and help them!


Someone will get mad.


This would be kind of the opposite of fearing that no one will read your book. Usually, this fear comes from a deep knowing that someone involved in the story does not want you to share because it makes them look bad.


One of my favorite quotes is by Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” As much as I want to say, “Heck yeah!” with this, you also have to consider things like libel lawsuits and causing strife within your family and friendships.


Weigh those parts of your story critically, and decide if you just want to share because you’re upset or if your audience really needs to hear about it. You may be able to get away with wording your story carefully with fewer specifics, like saying “an adult in my life” rather than “my mom.” For more information on this delicate topic, look at my article How Much of my Personal Challenges should I Share in my Writing?


People will talk about me.


If you’ve ever been the talk of the gossip mill, then this fear might flash through your head when you want to write a book. Though it’s easy for someone to say, “So what?” when advising you on how to overcome this, a much better way to look at it is by asking yourself some questions.

  • Is this a substantiated fear?

  • What’s the worst that they could say?

  • How will this actually impact me? My business?

  • Who are the people I’m afraid will talk?

  • Are those people my ideal readers?

If you get clear through this list, you might feel like the fear isn’t as big and awful as you have been letting it become. It’s tempting to go back to, “I don't give a damn what you say about me, just so you spell my name right,” a quote attributed to P.T. Barnum and several over celebrities, but the reality is that it’s hard to just stand there and let the tomatoes fall after the book comes out.


Always address this one head on and remember that there is a very good chance that the people you are afraid will talk aren’t even going to pick up your book because it’s just not on their radar, i.e. your neighbors or your friends from high school. As with the “No one will read this” fear, focus on who you want to read the book and how you are helping them. You’ll get a lot more written that way!


I don’t know what to do when I’m done writing.


This is less of a mindset thing and more of a “writing and publishing a book is a lot more than just typing away and pressing send!” sort of thing. There is an absolute process to producing a quality manuscript and turning it into a professional-looking book!


For many authors, they look at that mountain and wonder if they want to actually climb it. That’s when you need to call in the Sherpas!


To get you over the hump, you’ll want to at least hire a professional editor (not just your buddy who is good with grammar) and cover designer (not just someone who can create graphics). These are specialized skills, so go pro. You’ll also want to decide on the way to publish and ensure that you have proper PR for the book. The layout of the interior and type of files you need will depend on the platform you publish with.


Still, need help? Be sure that you connect with a professional in that realm or another author whose book looks professional. They can likely make recommendations so you can get that story out to the world and make the impact you desire.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Cori Wamsley, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Cori Wamsley, CEO of Aurora Corialis Publishing, works with business owners who have a transformational story to share. She helps them quickly and easily write and publish a book for their brand that helps them create a legacy and be seen as an expert while building a relationship with the reader. Cori has 17 years of experience as a professional writer and editor, including 10 years with the Departments of Energy and Justice and 4 years as the executive editor of Inspiring Lives Magazine. She also wrote eight fiction books and one nonfiction book, The SPARK Method: How to Write a Book for Your Business Fast, and contributed to two anthologies. Her newest book, Braving the Shore, was released in June 2022.


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