Why You Don't Write Your Book

Jan 31 22:36 2005 Suzanne Falter-Barns Print This Article

In the ten years that I've taught people how to get on ... books and creative ... I've noticed a ... I'll call ... Block." Would-be writers can, ... down and work w

In the ten years that I've taught people how to get on with
their books and creative projects,Guest Posting I've noticed a phenomenon
that I'll call "Author's Block." Would-be writers can, indeed,
sit down and work when pressed to it. The problem is that
they're not so sure they want the pressure of being an author.
But they do want it. But they don't. And so on.

Ah, the agony of getting on with your book.

Well, I'm here to diffuse that situation with a list of the key
reasons we have trouble sticking to our writing or other
creative projects. Perhaps this will help the next time you find
yourself polishing doorknobs instead of sitting down to work.

Check all that apply to you:

You Lie To Yourself About Why You Can't Write The Book

You think your stalling is about lack of time, or too much
pressure at work, or not enough solitude in the evening. But
guess what? Chances are a deeper, darker reason may be at play,
like 'I'm not supposed to be bigger than Mom' or 'What if this
thing really takes off?'

You Fear The Impact Your Book Could Have

Sometimes when I coach writers in my Self-Help Author's Crash
Course I'll ask them what's impeding their progress. And after
some probing, it will come out that they're afraid of the big
exposure a book can have if it takes off. I'm here to assure you
that should that happen, (and chances are your book will not
unleash wild mobs of millions) you will be able to handle it.
How do I know? On that deep level where psyche meets karma, you
won't create a single reader more than you're ready to receive.

You Think Your Book Doesn't Matter, So Why Bother?

One writer I know put this succinctly: "I've tried getting up at
5AM to write, or staying up late, or even leaving my home, but
none of it works. I have this tired feeling that none of my
effort is going to amount to a hill of beans." In fact, writing
and publication can be an entirely self-determined activity
these days. If the publishing pundits don't go for your book,
there's always the option of self-publishing paperback editions
or e-books and selling them on online booksellers or your
website. In other words, your book DOES matter, and you really
have no excuse. (Acid test: if the book keeps on patiently
urging you to sit down and write it for months and even years,
chances are you'd better do it.)

You Think You Don't Know How To Write A Book

Guess what? Neither does any other first time writer. And that
may be a wonderful thing. As a beginner, you don't approach your
book project with a carload of professional expectations and
demands from your process. You can just be open, like… well, a
nice blank book. All you really need is your intuition to guide
you, and the will to write your book as honestly as you can.

You Have No Support

You need someone in your corner, cheering you on, to get through
the long and somewhat tiring process of birthing a book. Because
writers need a way to show up and be accountable for their
progress. They need someone to keep saying, 'Yes, you really can
do this," or even "How's it going?" Minds can be tricky and
difficult when fully challenged by something like a book. And
steady external support is the best way around that.

You're Afraid You'll Run Out Of Material

There isn't a writer out there who hasn't had this fear. And I'm
here to say that if you just stay loose and open, and willing to
receive the ideas, they will show up. All you have to do is
commit - really sit down, and begin to bring that book into
being - and the work will magically appear. Sometimes it won't
flow that easily, and sometimes it will scare you with its speed
and power. But it will, indeed, show up.

You Think 'Who Am I to Write a Book?'

And yet, you are the perfect person to write your book, because
you're the one chosen to receive this material. (You don't have
to be spiritually inclined to believe this.) I personally
believe that books are given to us when we're ready to receive
them… and when we do, our lives are changed by that process.

You Fear Uncomfortable Moments

Ah, but that's the most exciting thing about writing your book.
You will be given challenges and lessons that just seem
untenable along the way. And if you're committed enough, you'll
rise above them and so become stronger in the process. This is
especially true for self-help books: we naturally write what we
need to learn.

Got a few categories checked off from the list above? Good!
Awareness is the first step to diffusing your fears. Meanwhile,
PLEASE do get on with your book … despite your misgivings. Not
only do you deserve this work - so do we.

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About Article Author

Suzanne Falter-Barns
Suzanne Falter-Barns

Suzanne Falter-Barns co-leads The Writer's Spa, a week-long,
nurturing retreat for anyone with a book on their mind. Taos,
NM, August, 2005. Learn more at
©2005 Suzanne Falter-Barns LLC. You may reprint this, but
it must be complete and include all contact information

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