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How to get rid of Self-doubt as a writer?

There is a certain romanticism in the commitment and life of people who don't earn much from their craft or art and yet dedicate their life to it. May be the mere thought of immortality through their work is what keeps them going. The psychology of perpetual existence is a strong stimuli. But is that a realistic approach to life? I guess it isn't. On the contrary, it is impractical, to say the least!

We want our art and talent to make us a decent amount of money to help us pay our bills, plan vacations, buy comforts and lead a good life. Then what is it that doesn't fetch the success or the accomplishments that every artist (a writer is an artist of words) desires to achieve? The only factor that could be coming in their way is their self-belief.

These doubts are like those impish elves who sit in the cupboard and stitch up your clothes making it difficult for you to fit into them even when you are on your fat loss journey with full commitment and determination. They are the intruders in your path to success. What are these self-limiting beliefs and how to overcome them would be an interesting topic to dive into, isn't it?

You have the story idea in your head, you have identified the tools to write it with, you can see the manuscript floating in front of your eyes but you are still unsure about how to get down and complete the process and bring it to life!

Let's identify few of the self-belief from writers.

  1. My book has to be perfect

Perfectionism is the imperfect choice you make for yourself.

You want to do an impressive job of writing and that is indeed praiseworthy. But if you put too much pressure on yourself to succeed, you will feel stuck. Your constant thoughts of wanting to be successful will obstruct the flow of your thoughts. Many of the writers you admire may be much further in their careers than you are and hence comparing yourself with them would be unfair.

Once you realize it is fine to be a reasonable writer, your work will thrive. You do not have to be the world’s biggest wordsmith to write popular books.

2. I need to get a degree

No, you don’t. The only thing a degree guarantees is a certificate and a lighter pocket. There are a lot of 'degree holder' writers who are not able to sell any of their work. You don’t need a fancy piece of paper to license you to be a writer. If you write, you are a writer. If you are a writer, you have the right to write a book. Period.

3. I am a writer and nothing more

A writer catches abstract ideas from the air and brings them to life on the page. But if you think that is your only responsibility, you might have to rethink.

Imagine a gardener planting a seed, watching the plant come out of the earth and then abandon it saying that his work is done. Will the plant survive?

Yet, as writers, it is something we do regularly. We finish writing a piece, publish it, and then put our feet up, cheering ourselves for a job well done. Resting on laurels is the most venomous outlook any writer can have.

But if you want to be successful, you can’t be a writer and nothing more. You also have to be a constant caretaker, a bold promoter and a fearless winner. Your job isn’t over the day you publish. On the contrary, it’s just the beginning. More than likely, you will spend weeks, months, and years fighting to get your words the attention they deserve, and it will be the most tiring, nerve-racking, and yet undoubtedly rewarding experience of your life. Don’t ignore that responsibility. The truth is that the joy of writing isn’t the writing itself. It’s seeing your ideas spread. It’s seeing them touch other people.

So how to get rid of limiting belief?

WWR Formula to fight with limiting beliefs

W- Why

W- What

R- Redefine

Step 1. Ask yourself why do you think.... (Eg: that your book is not worth reading) Write down the reasons.

Step 2. Write what you can do to solve it? (actionable steps) (eg: To do marketing of book to create awareness/ To brush up my writing skills to make my book better)

Step 3. Redefine what is success for you. Is it just the number of books sold?

Once you get the self-doubts out of your way, start these internal dialogues with yourself and write down your thoughts.

  1. Why do I want to be published?

  2. What type of writing will I focus on?

  3. What expectations do I have for myself as a writer?

  4. What is my ultimate goal for my writing?

  5. What knowledge do I have about the publishing process?

  6. What areas of the publishing process do I need to research more?

  7. What time of day am I the most productive?

  8. What kind of writing schedule will I keep?

  9. Which authors do I most admire, and why?

  10. How would I describe my writer’s voice?

  11. What do I really know? How can I apply real-world knowledge and experience to my writing?

  12. Once I write and decide to get published, how should I go about book marketing?

Now you're done! Once you've addressed all of your self-limiting beliefs and have also arrived at the answers to the above questions, no one, not even you, can stop you from writing.


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