Hey. Hi. Yes, hi. To you, the one who is hiding behind the screen, playing with a manuscript you’ve worked for years on. You, the one who joins every group she can find on publishing and writing and being an author. You, the one who really wants to write but is too scared to.
The transition from writer to author seems daunting, doesn’t it? Maybe even a little overwhelming? That dream has always been there for you, to call yourself a published author but the fear of actually doing it, it holds you back. Why?
No seriously, why? Have you thought about that – why you’re allowing your fear, your anxiety, your worries stop you from pursuing a dream that is possible?
Maybe you’ve heard that publishing is hard. It’s true, it is.
Maybe you’ve heard that more authors tend to fail than succeed. Okay…that’s true as well, but it depends on what you consider failure and success.
Maybe you’ve heard that the likelihood of getting picked up by a big publisher is next to nil. That’s true…in a sense. It’s always been difficult to get noticed, to land an agent and a publisher. That’s nothing new.
So why are you allowing your fear to stop you?
Would you mind if I gave you a little bit of encouragement along with a whole lotta honesty?
If you are serious about being a published author – whether you are venturing into self publishing or wanting to pursue traditional publishing – the road you are about to embark on is hard.
Like mud pitted, deep grooved, better-get-out-and-walk-the-rest-of-the-way Hawaiian roads I just drove on.
Every step of your journey is going to be tough. But, if you can finish that first draft of yours, and if have learned to embrace the edit process and worked hard to craft the best story you can…everything else is going to be a walk in the park. (Well…not really, but…it’ll be a walk that’s no worse than anything else).
If you are serious about being an author, if you are serious about spending the hours, days, months and maybe years on writing a novel, then you’ve got this. Finding an agent or leaning how to become a self-published author is just one more step on this journey you’re on.
Stop letting fear overwhelm you. Stop letting fear cement your steps until you decide not to go further.
Stop allowing fear to dictate your life and your dreams.
You’ve got this. Find those who have been on this journey, surround yourself with those who are one, two or ten steps ahead of you. Ask questions. Find answers. Challenge yourself to always step forward. You can do it.
How do I know?
Because I was once a scared author like you. Success for me didn’t happen overnight. I hesitated often, made plenty of mistakes, and even thought about throwing in the towel. I had over 200 rejections on a book that eventually became my ‘break-out’ novel.
I almost allowed fear to stop me from pursing my dream. Almost. I was in that place of having to make a decision – do I give up or do I continue? I wasn’t sure I could continue. I’d already sacrificed so much to follow my dream. How much more could I give to a passion when the well was dry?
So why didn’t I stop? Why did I continue?
I wasn’t a quitter. I refused to be a victim.
Let me rephrase that. I’m not a quitter and I refuse to be a victim. No matter where you are on your journey, the fear is always there, taunting, tempting, twisting everything until you have tunnel vision.
Today, the publishing journey is hard. A lot harder than it was in 2013 when my whole life changed because I decided to believe in myself when no one else would.
Being an indie author back then was fun, ambition, exhilarating, life changing.
Being a hybrid author now is stressful, exhausting, life changing.
Just because things have changed, just because the landscape of publishing and finding readers and making a living isn’t as familiar as it once was, doesn’t give me an excuse to quit.
Dear scared writer…I’m scared too. But if we stand together, if we stop being so solitary and reach out for help, the fear that holds us back loses its power over us.
What do you say?
Here’s me, holding my hand out to you. How can I help?
* * * *
Steena Holmes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with over 2 million copies of her titles sold world wide, including The Forgotten Ones, Saving Abby and The Memory Child. Named in the Top 20 Women Author to read in 2015 by Good Housekeeping, she won the National Indie Excellence Award in 2012 for Finding Emma as well as the USA Book News Award for The Word Game in 2015. Steena has been featured in various newspapers and magazines, websites such as Goodreads, BookBub, RedBook, Glamour, Coastal Living and Goodhousekeeping. To find out more about her books and her love for traveling, you can visit her website at http://www.steenaholmes.com.
Steena also offers courses through her Branding with Intent program. If you are an author struggling to find your brand or aren’t sure how to find your readers, check out her course. https://www.steenaholmes.com/branding-with-intent/