How To (Actually) Finish Writing A Book (Part 2) (2)

How To (Actually) Finish Writing A Book: 5 Fears Holding You Back And How To Overcome Them

By The WBR Team

In our previous blog, we talked about the three main reasons why you might be struggling to finish writing your business book. 

To recap, here are the three reasons:

  1. The wrong book positioning
  2. The author’s fear that they’re not good enough
  3. A lack of a clear, systematic process

In this blog, we’ll focus on reason #2 – the fears that might be holding you back.

How fear might be stopping you from completing your book

If you already know who your book is for and why you’re writing it, but you still can’t bring yourself to put any actual words on paper, it might be time for a little introspection. Do you have any fears hindering you? What are you afraid of?

It’s completely normal to feel afraid when writing a book or undertaking any significant project. After all, you’re pouring blood, sweat, and tears into this project and you want it to be as close to perfect as possible.

The good news is that you can overcome whatever fear might be holding you back from finishing your business book.

The not-so-pleasant news is that you have to actually confront those fears to overcome them and get unstuck.

Having worked with several clients to publish over 80 business books in the last eight years, we’ve identified five of the most common fears many entrepreneurs face when writing a business book:

Fear #1: My book isn’t (or won’t be) good enough

Here’s the thing: we all want our books to be perfect. A glowing masterpiece that readers love from the very first page.

The fear that your book won’t measure up to these standards is a common one, but the quest for perfectionism is often what stops people from getting to the final draft. The key is not to aim for a flawless first draft but to focus on getting your ideas down on paper. 

Improvement comes with revision, and “good enough” can eventually evolve into “exceptional” with consistent feedback and effort. Your unique insights, knowledge, and experiences hold intrinsic value; trust in that and in the refining process of writing and editing. 

Remember, your favourite books aren’t first drafts – they are the result of multiple drafts, scrunched-up balls of paper, and thousands of revisions.

Fun fact: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird underwent a significant revision process. Initially submitted as a collection of short stories, Lee was advised to rewrite it into a novel. This process took over two years of revisions and edits!

Fear #2: People will judge or criticise my book

Criticism – even the most constructive kind – can be a tough pill to swallow. No author wants to wake up to scathing reviews on Amazon.

However, criticism is a natural part of putting your work into the world, which is why it should not deter you from sharing your message. Feedback, both positive and negative, is invaluable for growth. Even the most scathing reviews can give you some much-needed perspective on how to refine and enhance your work.

Moreover, for every critic, there’s likely at least one person out there who will be profoundly impacted by your book. Focus on why you’re writing it in the first place, and remember that even the most celebrated works have their detractors. 

Fear #3: I’m afraid no one will care about my book

This fear often stems from the misconception that a book needs to appeal to a broad audience to be successful. In reality, the most impactful books are those that deeply resonate with a specific group of people. 

Fun fact: before you even finish writing your book, you already have a willing and waiting audience. You just need to find those people and connect with them ahead of launch day. This is why the structure of your book launch campaign is so important (and why so many authors seek help from professionals like us).

Fear #4: I’m not knowledgeable or creative enough to write this book

We all suffer from some form of impostor syndrome. However, it’s always worth remembering that you have accumulated unique knowledge and experiences that no one else has.

If you’re passionate about your topic, that enthusiasm will fuel your creativity and attract readers who are eager to learn from you. Additionally, you can always augment your knowledge through research, interviews, and collaboration.

Fear #5: My ideas aren’t unique or original

In a world filled with content, it’s easy to feel like everything has already been said. The truth, however, is that there’s no new idea under the sun. Here’s what Mark Twain had to say about “new ideas”: 

“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn, and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely, but they are the same old pieces of coloured glass that have been in use through all the ages.”

Originality doesn’t come from presenting never-before-seen ideas. It comes from your unique voice and perspective. How are you connecting your ideas to form a fresh perspective? What new angle can you bring to even the most overflogged topics? 

Remember, many readers will actively seek out new voices/angles that resonate with them personally, even on well-trodden subjects. 

How to overcome the fears holding you back

1) List your fears: Write down all the fears holding you back from finishing your book. This could include fear of criticism, fear of failure, or any other fear not listed in this blog.

2) Evaluate and cross off unfounded fears: Critically examine each fear and ask yourself whether it’s based on fact or assumption. Cross off any fears that are unfounded or not based on reality. This process helps in recognising that some fears may be exaggerated or not as impactful as you think.

3) Develop counter arguments: For each fear that remains, come up with counter arguments or solutions. For example, if you’re afraid of criticism, remind yourself that feedback is a valuable tool for improvement. If you’re afraid your ideas aren’t original enough, remember that your unique perspective and voice can bring something new to even well-trodden topics.

4) Take small, consistent actions: Break down the task of finishing your book into small, manageable actions. This could mean committing to writing a certain amount each day or week or researching professional book-writing services to support you along your journey. Over time, these small actions will add up.

By following these steps, you can actively confront and manage your fears, making them less likely to prevent you from completing your business book.

If you’re still feeling stuck, stay tuned for next week’s blog, where we’ll break down how to create a clear, systematic roadmap that will help you stay on track with your book.

In the meantime, if you’d welcome professional help and support with writing, publishing, or marketing your book, get in touch today to see how our team of experts can help.

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