What has stopped you from writing your book?

Many people say they want to write a book, but few actually do it.

The reasons people give are not unusual – maybe some of these apply to you?

  • I am not ’an author.’ I’m not good enough. It won’t be any good. People will criticize me and I will feel worthless. No-one wants to hear what I think. I am not ’an author,’ and I am not ’creative’ – how dare I try to be?
  • I won’t be able to write prize-winning fiction.
  • I don’t have the time or the energy to write. It seems like a lot of hard work. What if I have to work every night and every weekend for months or even years to write this book? Will it be worth the sacrifice?
  • I don’t know how to do it or how to even start.
  • I don’t know what to write about. There are already enough books on the topic I want to write about.
  • I don’t have a writing qualification or degree.
  • I don’t know how to get published.
  • I won’t make any money or become famous, so what is the point?
  • I don’t want people to know that my mind is really like this. If I write it down, they will see the real me and that is scary.
  • I’m afraid of failing, of looking stupid. I’m afraid of rejection. What if people don’t like my book? How will I cope with rejection?
  • It costs too much money.
  • I don’t want the attention. I don’t want to market my book. I just want to live a quiet life and write for myself.

These are valid reasons, but each of them can be overcome. You CAN write your book, and you CAN be published. You just need to make a decision and start the process from Idea to Book.


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  1. says

    A post with sensible advice.

    There are too many reasons why a writer puts off writing. Only one reason is needed: If you FEEL like writing, just go ahead and do it!

    Worry about whether it’s good enough later.

  2. J.M. Reep says

    I think what trips up a lot of people working on their very first book-length manuscript is that they just don’t realize how much work writing a book can be. I think a writer’s most important quality is patience. Writing a book is a project that will take weeks, months, even YEARS to complete, and if you don’t have the patience to work that long, then you’ll never finish what you start.

  3. says

    All of the reasons you list have applied to me at one time or another. To circumvent them, I’ve enlisted my wallet: I pay for an long-distance writing mentor to keep me focused with deadlines and assignments. It’s a long-term relationship, and I get feedback and encouragement in return (as well as a good collection of books and a syllabus). I’m writing regularly, and although I’m still shy about sending out my writing, the desire for my stories to be read is growing stronger by the day.

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