OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
You have permission to write a book.
Maybe you don't need that permission and you are a confident author already. Brilliant, then skip this!
But many people need permission to start writing again, or at least permission to actually write a book.
Maybe you are one of them? Perhaps you have been told that you are not good enough. Or perhaps you believe you should only write a book if you have done a Masters in Creative Writing. Or you will be a disappointment unless you write prize winning fiction.
You might need permission if you have no formal education and you think your words might not be good enough for the literary world. Or maybe you are at the other end of the spectrum where you are over educated but you want to write popular romance and that doesn't fit with what people think you are. Maybe you have always wanted to write but don't think you could get published.
Whatever the reasons, sometimes we just need to be told that we are allowed to write.
You can be an author. You are creative!
So why haven't you already written your book?
There are many reasons why you might not have written your book yet. Maybe some of the following apply to you?
– I am not “an author”. I'm not good enough.
– I won't be able to write prize-winning fiction
– I don't have the time or the energy to write
– I don't know how to do it or how to even start
– I don't know what to write about
– I don't have a writing qualification or degree.
– I don't know how to get published.
– It seems like a lot of hard work.
– It won't be any good. People will criticise me and I will feel worthless.
– No-one wants to hear what I think
– There are already enough books on the topic I want to write about
– I am not “an author”, and I am not “creative” – how dare I try to be?
– I won't make any money or become famous so what is the point?
– I don't even know how to start writing
– 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.
Did any of those apply to you? What are some of the other reasons you have not written your book?
Stop thinking that you have to be an expert or a professional to write your thoughts. It is your opinion. If it helps people or touches people, then brilliant! If your words and ideas do not resonate with everyone, then don't take it personally.
These are all valid reasons for the past – but now you need to move beyond them. You have permission so get writing!