I’m about to hit “publish” on m 9th eBook (fourth for the year), and the more I think about it, the more freaked out I get.
I start to question everything–is the book too short? Is it valuable enough? Are people going to like it? Is it going to be useful for writers? Am I doing a good job?
Even though I’ve already done this 8 other times, it still doesn’t make it any easier. The same doubts are present, the same fears are still there.
The only difference now is that I always push through and keep going.
Before this year, I’d have let that shit stop me for days, weeks or maybe even months. I’d have sat on the eBook and not put it out there.
But I’ve done it enough now, where I know fear, doubt and Upper Limit Problems are all a part of the creative process. Now I feel the fear, the doubt…and I send the book to my editor anyhow. I feel the worry and the “not enough” and I hit publish anyhow.
Something you may not realize is that fear you feel, that uncertainty, that doubt you have inside… it will never go away.
It’s always gonna be there. Trying to knock you down, trying to sabotage you, trying to get in your way.
And rather than getting easier, it gets worse the most successful you become.
But the difference is in how you deal with it.
An amateur writer lets that stuff get in the way. An amateur writer gets stopped by that stuff. A pro writer knows different.
Because a pro writer has been writing and publishing and continuing on long enough to know that the icky stuff–the negative voices, the fear, the doubt–it’s always there. Sometimes it shows up in different forms, as life chaos, as inner noise, as haters on the outside.
But it’s all the same thing. And it never goes away.
What does happen, is the more you deal with it head-on and the more you push through anyhow and keep going, the easier it will get to keep doing that.
When you’ve written and published enough, you will start to recognize your self-sabotating patterns and what it looks like for you. For me, I know after I launch a book my Upper Limit Problems usually kick in and I start napping more, stuffing my face with junk food more and causing life chaos in my reality.
So now when I notice this stuff–and especially when I notice it right after a book launch–I can recognize it for what it is… Resistance, fear, ULPs… and just keep going.
How do you do this? Here’s how I do it:
> Daily Mindset Practice–this is a non-fucking-negotiatble for me. I do mindset work two-to-three times a day, minimum. Usually includes writing my reality (1-3 pages), visualizing and setting intentions.
> Hire a good editor–my editor knows me and my writing very well, so she’s great at pointing out changes or things that will make the book better.
> Build support and accountability into your life–I work with a private mentor and I have several accountability buddies that I check in with throughout the week, and I’m part of a writers mastermind group. All of which keeps me in check and moving forward.
> Set deadlines and announce them publicly–this is the best way for me to keep going even when I don’t feel like it or don’t want to. Because I’ve set a deadline and announced it publicly, I can’t not hit it. So I always do.
The fear, the Resistance, the “noise” in your head and in your outer world can only get to you and can only take you down if you let it.
And if you choose not to let it bother you and to keep going regardless of what comes up, you will win. Every single time.
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One Reply to “The Fear, The Doubt, the Uncertainty…It Never Goes Away”
“A writer is a person for whom the act of writing is harder than for other people.” –Thomas Mann.
I’ve always thought that was key. We are writers because we look harder and care more about what we write, and it’s why we can produce what we do. The flip side of it is that we’re always aware (and being human, all too aware) of what *could* go wrong and what *might* have been better. To stop seeing the half-empty part of the glass would be to lose the need to fill the get the next glass closer to full.