One of the key reasons many aspiring authors don’t even start their book is because they are dogged by the question: ‘Am I capable of writing a book?’ The root of that doubt lies in three places:
- Your ability to get through the process of writing a book.
- Your ability to write the number of words to create a book.
- Your ability to write sufficiently well to write a book
Let’s take a look at those worries and see if they are reasons for you to stop yourself from writing your book (and see what solutions there might be to help you move forward).
Can you handle the process?
The process of writing a book can be daunting. The amount of information available is enough to make anyone’s head spin. There are many decisions to make and those are often not easy to make, especially when you are making them on your own.
That said, there are solutions to this problem. First, take some time to learn and get to grips with the process so you understand what it entails. If you don’t already have a copy, get my free ebook (see right-hand column to sign up and get the book) as it takes you through the steps one by one so you know what is involved.
Take one step at a time. Get advice when you need it, find a coach or mentor to help you through (ask me!) and you can make it. You can handle the process.
Can you write as many words as you need for a book?
You probably have an idea in your mind of the number of words you either want or need to write to create your book. At a guess, you’ve never written that number of words before. In fact, the last time you probably wrote that number of words was possibly at college. You may have written a report for work that is long, but someone gave you a question to answer when you wrote that and the report probably had a structure set out in some way before you began writing.
Let’s look at this in a bit more detail: first of all, you may not need to write as many words as you imagine, second, if you do, a book is made up of a number of chapters, each of which is much shorter than a whole book. I know you know that, but it is easy to lose sight of it when you envision writing a book. The size of the piece of writing that makes a book what it is makes it a challenge in the first place; a challenge you want to conquer. However, that challenge is also one of factors about writing a book that frightens you (a bit, anyway).
This is all part of being an author; rising to that challenge of getting words on a page. Those words have to be worthwhile and achieve an objective and be purposeful, and if you’re honest, that is the bit that is daunting, not the volume of words. The question is not whether you can write that many words, but whether you can write that many words and have them be of value at the end is the real doubt in your mind.
To find the answer to that question, you need to write the book. You don’t know if you can reach the top of the mountain unless you climb it.
Are you a good enough writer to write a book?
Now this is the big doubt that haunts all writers. If you don’t think of yourself as a writer, this doubt will dog you more than others. There are many talented writers in the world; some win prizes, some are bestsellers; some never even write a book. You may be a good writer, you may not. I would love every book to be written by a talented writer, but the world isn’t like that. Writing a book is an achievement that can be reached by writers and non-writers alike.
If you do not feel comfortable with your writing ability, use other skills you are more confident with instead: speaking, for example. Get someone to interview you and write the book with you or for you. Hire an editor to knock your content into shape. There are solutions, so don’t let your uncertainties about writing your book hold you back.
If you want to improve your writing, join me on a blogathon. Mine is going to last a year, but you could get a lot out of committing to writing a blog post for 30, 60 or 90 days (for example). You can be a better writer, but you might not need to be, so don’t get hung up, get on with it.
We all have doubts about our abilities and skills. We all make up stories about what qualities or abilities we might need to succeed with our chosen projects. But if we let those doubts and fears overwhelm us we will never do what we want to do. Fight back, believe in yourself and your ability to overcome difficulties and you will write your book.
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