4 Limiting Beliefs for Aspiring Authors to Overcome

Are you holding yourself back from pursuing your most important dreams?

Often, your mind will confine you in your comfort zone rather than letting you run the risk of failure and disappointment. This is especially true when it comes to something as major and meaningful as writing a book. 

If you have something telling you that you shouldn’t be writing, it might well be a limiting belief. 

Here are four of the most common limiting beliefs for indie authors to have, as well as empowering alternative perspectives. 

I don’t have time to write a book

Understandably, you might be concerned about having enough time to write and release a book.

We pour a lot of ourselves into our words and we don’t want to rush our writing when it feels meaningful.

While it’s admirable that you want to give your book the time it deserves, don’t make the mistake of going too far the other way and putting it on a pedestal. 

If you give power to the belief that a book must be labored over for decades, or that you will never free up enough time and energy to make it happen, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Instead, if fear related to time is holding you back from writing, try these three reframes.

  1. I can write a book faster than I imagine. A lot of people overestimate the time it takes to write a book. If you’re imagining it will take a lot longer than you have available, find empowering examples to the contrary. 
  1. If my book is written quickly, it will be among fine company. Some of the world’s most successful authors write fast. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that more time spent on a book will necessarily improve its quality. 
  1. I can rearrange my time and be flexible when I need to. It’s important to find a realistic writing schedule for your circumstances. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself permission to get back on track if you aren’t seeing the progress you hoped for.

Don’t let worries about time hold you back from writing the book that’s in your heart. 

I don’t want to do everything on my own

A lot of people find the concept of self-publishing to be daunting. Maybe it sounds like isolation or even loneliness.

Don’t let the name dissuade you! 

Choosing to be an indie author doesn’t mean you’ll be on your own. You’ll just be on your own creative path. 

If you are worried about having to go it alone, try and rethink in these ways. 

  1. I can connect with other authors on the same path. If you’re feeling excited and nervous about what lies ahead, so are plenty of other writers. You have a valuable opportunity to support one another and share warmth and success along the way. 
  1. I can collaborate with people as I choose to. As an indie author, you have the freedom to tap into professional services as you need them. You can collaborate with other creatives as much as you wish. 
  1. I have the power of those around me. Don’t underestimate how writing a book will be a win/win for the people you’re closest with. You can enjoy their support and levity along the way, while also inspiring them by showing how creative passion projects are possible.

Self-publishing allows you to be as collaborative or as independent as you prefer, so don’t let any ideas to the contrary hold you back. 

I can’t afford to invest in publishing 

Do you have financial concerns about your ability to become an indie author?

It’s natural, especially at times of great uncertainty, to worry about resources and fall into a mentality of scarcity and fear

While it’s always smart to be frugal, don’t let your concerns about the cost of publishing hold you back from seeing if it’s possible for you. 

See if these alternative viewpoints help you get started. 

  1. I can publish a book affordably. It’s possible to produce a quality book for a relatively low cost. Especially compared to other creative pursuits. To become an author, all you need is your imagination and a tool to capture it in words. 
  1. I can cut back on some other areas. If you decide you would like to commit some of your budget to writing a book, look carefully for areas you can cut back on. Not every budget has flexibility, but you might be able to cut back on leisure expenditure to focus on becoming an author. 
  1. I can make money back by doing something I love. If you plan your indie author journey carefully, you stand a great chance of recouping your costs at the very least. Also, you’ll be doing this while spending time on a creative pastime that you love.

Please don’t let financial fears stop you from taking steps towards your dream. You can either make it happen affordably now or keep learning the skills and information you need for when your financial situation is more aligned with where you want it to be.  

I won’t get anywhere in life with my book 

Sometimes we are too paralyzed by our visions of future failure to take any action in the present. 

Perhaps you have the type of personality where it’s normal for you to catastrophize and imagine the worst possible outcome

Or, maybe you’ve been stung by disappointment in the past and don’t want to risk experiencing it again. 

If you find yourself thinking negatively about what the future holds, stop, and ponder these three perspectives instead. 

  1. I will enjoy the process itself. When you find yourself attempting to predict an uncertain future, try and slow down, and be present. Imagine yourself enjoying the process of crafting a sentence or reading your words back over a warm drink. 
  1. I can entertain people who need it. Maybe you’re worried about living up to some imagined ideal of what a successful author looks like, or comparing yourself to someone famous? Instead, try and focus on something smaller but meaningful, like cheering up just one person who really needed it that day. 
  1. I will make a difference after the final page. If you do find your mind turning to the future, why not try and imagine a positive outcome instead? Picture delivering a reading to a small group in a library, or inspiring people by giving speeches and talks. There are as many possible outcomes for your author future as you can dream of. 

The fear of things not turning out the way you hoped shouldn’t stop you from taking action. Either slow down and be in the moment or motivate yourself by imagining an inspiring future instead. 

Hopefully, you now see twelve roads away from the prison of your own fear.

If writing a book is something that means a lot to you, there’s always a way to make it happen. 

The first step is to exchange your limiting beliefs for those that empower you. 

After you’ve stopped holding yourself back, nothing else will be able to. 

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