Almost without fail during Book Brainstorm Sessions (my version of discovery calls) and even in initial conversations with new clients, I hear this sentence: “But I’m not a writer.” That’s the point where I smile and take a breath, and we have a chat about mindset. I bet if you’re reading this blog post, you’ve had that same thought (or even said it out loud). Simply put, if you’re going to write a book, you must shift your mindset from that of a business owner writing a book to that of a writer. When you’re done writing, you can switch hats back to business owner — promise.
So how do you make this shift? I won’t pretend it’s easy. In talking with business owners writing books over the last several years, the resistance often stems from fear. We’ve talked about fears on this blog before [LINK TO FEARS POST]. As a quick refresher, the fears that most often creep up when it comes to book writing include:
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Analysis paralysis
- Imposter syndrome
I have good news: You aren’t experiencing this fear (or these fears) BECAUSE you’re a business owner writing a book. All writers — especially first-time book writers — experience them. The way to combat fears is to understand which you are prone to and the source. Then you can begin to move past them. My perfectionism, for example, stems from an elementary school teacher who told me my English grades (percentages in the mid-to high 90s) weren’t good enough. I spun that into reminding myself that pencils have erasers for a reason: Everyone makes mistakes. AKA no one is perfect. That reminder, on a Post-It on my desk, works for me. I use it as a mantra whenever I feel perfectionism creeping in (and as an editor, this happens more often than I’d like to admit). What might work for you?
Once you’ve faced your fears, you can relax a bit and start to think of yourself as a writer, versus a business owner writing a book. Whew, right? But then when you do start writing, roadblocks sometimes hit.
Roadblocks, too, are not just for non-professionally trained writers; anyone can succomb. What do I mean by “roadblocks”? As with fears, there are many (humans are complicated, right?), but the four that I see most often in working with entrepreneurs are:
- Writer’s block (creative lapse)
- Self-doubt (lost muse)
- Self-sabotage (ugly inner critic)
Understand that roadblocks are normal. Take a break, give your brain a chance to reset when these issues arise, and stay tuned for a blog post soon that goes into more depth about writing roadblocks.
The Bottom Line
So now you’ve faced your fears and identified roadblocks. You might logically have shifted your mindset, yet there’s still that small voice telling you you’re not really a writer. I’ve created a simple true-false quiz to prove to you that you’re actually already writing — so why not put it in book form and grow your platform? I’d love to know your results.