One question I ask aspiring writers is “What is holding you back from taking the next step?”
This question is important. Not just for writing, producing, promoting and marketing a book, but for any area of your life. What is holding you back? What is keeping you from taking that next step toward your goal or dream?
The common answers to the question, What is Holding You Back?, that most aspiring (and published) authors give falls into one of the following five categories. Which one, or more, do you need to conquer?
Fear is a powerful emotion that can hold you hostage. It can be the fear of failure, fear of looking ridiculous, fear of ridicule, fear of rejection. Often, aspiring authors measure their work against their peers. Others don’t feel up to a task that is new and unfamiliar. And still others start out with a full head of steam but then fear and doubt grip them and they stagnate.
FEAR NOT! You can do this.
“If only I had more time.” I hear this phrase a lot. I even say this more often than I should. Wannabe authors wait for life to slow down, for that day in the future when they’ll have time to devote to their novel.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that day is not coming. We lead busy lives and there will always be pressing matters that will need attending. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, so it’s up to you to schedule your time to include your goals and dreams.
You may have to get up earlier each day to spend time writing. Perhaps you give up watching a TV show a couple times a week. Find a few minutes each day and soon you’ll discover you have the time—it was already there, waiting for you to begin.
YOU HAVE TIME. You can do this.
Sometimes the lack of knowledge holds us back from obtaining our dream. Fortunately, this is the easiest obstacle to overcome. There is so much information available to help you become a better writer, to teach you how to publish a book, or to provide you with the steps you need to take to promote and market. Don’t let lack of knowledge get in your way. Read a book, become involved in a writers group, attend a conference, watch a webinar, or listen to podcasts. The information you need to grow your knowledge is at your fingertips.
You don’t have to learn it all in one day. Lear a little each day in easy, understandable and digestible chunks.
TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME. You can do this.
Money, or lack of it, is a common obstacle people use for not taking the next step toward their goal. Money is similar to time. We fritter time away, and we squander our money.
Take a serious look at your goal (vision) for your book and then at your budget. I you are like most writers, you want people to buy, read and love your book and to do that you need quality editing, design and a marketing plan. Determine what areas you need to hire and what areas you can do yourself.
There are very affordable ways to publish and market books. Again, a little education in this area can save you a lot of money.
IT’S AFFORDABLE. You can do this.
A vision is a picture of the end result, or where you want to be. When you lack a clear vision, you can’t move toward it. “I want to be an author” is not a clear vision. That’s like saying I want to be a doctor, or learn to speak a foreign language. What type of doctor, which language?
Do you see where this is going? For your dream to become a reality you need to decide what type of book you want to write. That is usually already inside you. Some love horror, others want to write a memoir. Decide what type of book you want to write and then take the necessary steps to achieve that goal.
ENVISION YOUR DREAM. You can do this.
What is holding you back?
Identify it and then take action to rectify it. A parked car doesn’t go anywhere. The same is true for inaction. In order to achieve your goal you have to take that first step.