It’s easy to think that writing a book is all about technical know-how, marketing prowess and dogged determination. But there is another factor that comes into play when it comes to writing your book: confidence. In fact, maintaining confidence when writing your book is far more important than you might think.

These factors can affect your book-writing success at any point, not just in finishing, which is when confidence seems to be most in need. Let’s look at how your self-confidence and belief can have an impact at pivotal points in the creation of the book.


Getting started with any project takes a certain level of confidence and belief because getting started is the point at which you are likely to be most optimistic, positive and excited. However, it can be a challenging time simply because you need to make so many decisions about your book.

confidenceIn doing market research, making choices about your title, content and business purpose of your book, you are likely to come up against self-doubt and fear. Seeing what else is out there and anticipating publishing your own book can be daunting and it will test your confidence.

As a result, the temptation at this stage is to avoid the hard stuff, especially planning and in particular, market research as it can be overwhelming to see what else is in your market. However, this may backfire later as lack of planning can lead to confusion and lack of direction later on. The worst-case scenario is that your book may not get finished at all.

If you can understand what is special about you and your book, it can help you to maintain your confidence and make the challenges of this stage actually launch you into the next phase: writing and revising.

Writing and revising

How challenging the writing and revising stage of your book will be for you may depend on how confident a writer you are to begin with. But for most of us, the greatest challenge we face during this phase is maintaining your confidence in your idea and in your confidence as a writer.

When writing, you are likely to come up against doubt and insecurity at some point. This is all part of the writing process. You are almost definitely going to start writing sections of your book and suddenly think of counter-arguments to the one you planned. This can be unsettling and can easily knock your confidence because you can start to wonder if your whole book is flawed.

The way to maintain your confidence at this point is to keep writing. You may want to explore the idea that has come up, and that’s fine, but ideally, you need to move on to another section of the chapter or another chapter so you keep writing. If the idea that has come up is crucial, you may need to take time out to explore it before you move on.

This can definitely dent your confidence and you may need to get some feedback and support so you can restore your belief and check that you are going in the right direction.

 Finishing and publishing

This is the point where the proverbial rubber hits the road and you have to commit. As a result this is where your confidence is most likely to be tested. Fear could easily lead to procrastination and delay. This is because you are about to cross the line and actually take the risk of being out there. On the up-side, you are also very close to achieving your goal so it is also a very exciting time.

The publishing process can be hectic and demanding, especially if you have a deadline to meet, which, hopefully you do have. However, having an editor to guide you through at this stage can make a huge difference. Having someone to hold you to account and help you maintain momentum could be the difference between finishing or not.

Staying in action will help you avoid getting bogged down in fears and doubts. You can keep your confidence high by taking action.

Confidence is a critical factor in publishing; confidence that you can do it, confidence in your project and confidence that the result will be of benefit to you. It doesn’t matter how much you know on a technical level if you can’t maintain your self-belief and confidence. If you feel your confidence flagging, get some feedback and support so your book gets finished.

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Deborah Taylor
Deborah Taylor

Hi, I'm Deborah Taylor and I'm a publishing consultant and book-writing mentor. I work with established business owners who want to share their message by writing a book but are struggling to get started (or finished). I help them write, publish and launch a stand-out, attention-grabbing book that will raise their profile, reach more of their ideal clients and grow their business. I am a trained editor with over 15 years' publishing experience with major blue-chip UK publishing companies such as Hodder & Stoughton, BBC Books, Cassell and Pearson. I have produced books on every subject under the sun and with professinals and experts from a wide range of professions, from chefs and gardeners to life coaches and career consultants. I would love to help you write a book you love and that will raise your profile, attract new clients and bring you exciting new business opportunities.