ASP 08: How to Overcome Fears, Doubts, and Burnout
Quote of the day
Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little.
– Holley Gerth
Writing can be a scary thing! You are putting yourself out there, presenting your thoughts and ideas and making yourself vulnerable to critique and criticism. But they say that nothing good comes easy, so maybe that is why writing is so rewarding. In today’s podcast, we discuss fear, doubts, and burnout as they relate to writing.
How to Overcome Burnout, Fear and Doubt as an Author
What are some of the common fears self-published authors encounter?
There are dozens of fears that can pop up. Two of the most common are the fear of nobody wanting read what you have to write, and the idea that people are going laugh at you. But one way to work past fears is to steps to improve yourself. For instance, when crippled by the fear of people thinking your writing is bad, you can take steps to brush up on your grammar, read up on other authors, and hire an editor. By improving your skills, you will go a long way toward assuaging that fear!
The simple fact is, even the best books out there have critics. Accept it and expect it. Don’t let negative reviews get to you.
Some people are afraid of getting their feelings hurt. Well if you intend to put content out there, then you need to accept the fact that there are going to be haters who try to drag you down. You need to have tough skin. And if necessary, use a pen name.
The important thing is to decide to do work. Embrace your mistakes, then keep on trying and pushing. Remember, you can always unpublish your book and improve upon it, then publish it again. Making a mistake is not the end of the world.
As far as negative reviews go, think of them as a good thing. After all, they actually give more credibility to your reviews in general, proving that they are real.
Do you feel that you get isolated as an author, and lose perspective about your abilities and what readers think of your work?
There are a number of ways to stay grounded and in touch with your readers. One of the most important is to reach out and talk to people regularly. Find an accountability partner or form a mastermind group with people who understand what you go through every day. One great site for that is www.mastermind.pub.
It is also important to get out and socialize. Don’t hide yourself away in your office with your notebook and keyboard. Meet face-to-face with real people, and bring up your topic as part of the conversation. This is a great way to see if there is interest.
You can also use www.wattpad.com to blog out your entire book. This way, you can get almost instantaneous feedback.
How do you deal with a lack of motivation or inspiration as a writer?
Writer’s block happens to everyone. The key is to not let it stop you. If the words aren’t coming, keep writing anyway. Writing inspires creativity, and eventually the block will pass. Treat writing like a job, not like some optional hobby that you only do when you feel like it.
It’s nice when motivation and inspiration naturally occur, but you can’t rely on them to power your writing. Take the first step and get the ball rolling. Make a habit of writing, and push through the frustrating moments. Set yourself up so you have no excuses.
A lot of people say they don’t have enough time to write. How can they find the time to get a book published?
People have time to do all sorts of things—like watch TV, for example. Stop for a moment and consider all of the things that you spend your time doing. If you really want to write, you will find the time to do so.
Is time really the problem? Or is it more a matter of your fears and doubts getting in the way and making excuses?
When you do something consistently, and as a job, there is always a risk of burnout. If this happens, the best thing is to take a step back and figure out what you really need to do. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate and figure out what’s important to you. Listen to your body, and remember that your mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected. The truth is, you may need a break.
We find that one way to avoid burnout is to get outdoors and exercise on a daily basis.
A final piece of advice
Take it one day at a time. This is a long-term process, and one that you should enjoy. Are you having fun? Are you learning lessons as you go? Remember that you are a unique individual with a unique perspective. You have something to offer, but you have to get it out there in order for other people to experience it.
To access the checklist that we use to make sure our writing is staying on track, visit www.apchecklist.com.
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