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How Aspiring Authors Can Remove the Obstacles That Prevent Success

For so many of the aspiring authors I work with, a few common obstacles always seem to prevent success.

Some have learned beliefs and behaviors that they need to unlearn to move forward and wholeheartedly throw themselves into their book.

Others battle with the same emotions we all struggle with, including worthiness, confidence, imposter syndrome or perfectionism.

Then, for many, the logistics of starting, seeing through and finishing their book proposal is so overwhelming it becomes the biggest obstacle for them to make real progress on their big book dreams.

Whatever it is, the good news is that you can overcome the obstacles and stop self-sabotaging your very real and valid dreams of writing a book.

In this blog post, I’ll share what I’ve learned from working with authors and experts in the field to help you get past the most common obstacles–so you can get your book done stat!

I promise that by the end of this post, you’ll feel seen, understood and equipped with some actionable tips and strategies to get out of your own way.

Sound good?

Let’s get going!

First things first — you’re not alone!

Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked with many aspiring writers and published authors in different roles.

I’ve helped them develop book proposals, and I’ve been the one reviewing and accepting proposals on behalf of a major publisher.

This experience has given me a unique perspective on various types of writers with varied backgrounds.

The thing that almost all of them share?

They all experience the obstacles and challenges I’ll outline below on some level.

The authors that persevere become better at believing in and doing the things I’ll outline below.

We can’t change our internal belief systems and behaviors overnight, but we can take small, incremental steps that lead to success.

Love this topic but prefer to listen? Click here to listen to Episode #46 of my Bound + Determined podcast.

Aspiring Author Obstacle #1 – Stop Looking Around At What Everyone Else is Doing!

Here’s the thing — hundreds of books are published every week. And many are on the same or very similar topics.

If any of these published authors had allowed themselves to be paralyzed by what others were doing, their books likely wouldn’t have come to market.

Plus, if they looked to others for comparison or direction, their book won’t develop their way or with their signature perspective on the information.

Assessing what books are already in the market is an important part of developing and pitching your book idea, but don’t let it overtake you — let it fire you up! It’s information–it doesn’t negate what YOU are doing.

So, helpful hint #1: whenever you look at other authors and compare yourself, remember that your path is yours alone, and you are the best person to write your book.

Next up, don’t go it alone!

Aspiring Author Obstacle #2 – Don’t Go It Alone

Earlier this year, I launched my comprehensive signature program, The Book Proposal Blueprint.

It was a long-time coming and my way of sharing what I’ve learned over 20 years in the publishing business about planning, writing, and marketing a book proposal with aspiring authors.

I knew it was good because there was nothing like it on the market, and the framework had already produced massive results with my clients. In it, I teach the same systems, strategies and insider insights that have enabled authors to get 6-figure book deals with the publishers they want.

So I knew the program was stellar, but you can imagine what came next.

Along with ALL the emotions we talked about above, I felt overwhelmed by all the logistics, tech, marketing, copywriting and everything else that goes into a new program launch.

So I did what I’ve come to know is the best next step … I hired experts who could add value.

In the last few years of my business, I’ve come to learn the value of thought partnership. I’ve learned to trust the smart people in the room that are experts at what they do so that they can make me better at what I do.

And by doing that, I remove a significant obstacle on my path to success.

But it goes against the way I learned to do things. I was taught to be self-reliant, independent, a hustler, to work hard to give more, go the extra mile — you get it!

Does any of that ring true for you?

If so, you may have just realized it now. This programming is baked in from a cultural and a family systems standpoint, so becoming aware of it is part of personal and professional development.

So how can you take control of this runaway train?

Helpful Tip #2: Find a trusted partner with the perspective, experience, credibility and proven approach that can support you in achieving your goals.

Do your research, set up a call, and make sure their values and approach align with yours, as the book-writing process is one you should do with others!

And while outside help is essential, so is help on the inside.

Obstacle #3 – Permission to Give Yourself Some Self-Care

One of the things I’ve come to embrace is giving myself a little more space for curiosity, wonder and exploration.

It goes against my nature to take my foot off the gas, but the benefits are amazing.

When you slow down, you’ll see where you’re leaking time and energy and where you can offload some of the necessary tasks you don’t enjoy doing to make space for the stuff you love doing — ahem, writing!

On my podcast Bound + Determined, I always share that the writing process isn’t linear. And part of that is due to unforeseen obstacles, but many are self-imposed.

Showing yourself some self-care and compassion as a writer looks like this:

  • You prioritize the work
  • You prioritize your dreams
  • You don’t fall victim to the stories you’ve been told about who or what we can be
  • You make space and time.

And when you do make a conscious effort to stay committed to your creative pursuits, magic happens!

  • You make serious progress on your book proposal or manuscript
  • Your confidence grows
  • You unleash something buried for years and then apply it everywhere.

I can’t stress this enough because I’ve seen how self-care drastically affects success.

If you’ve been looking for the permission slip that will allow you to prioritize your writing and go after your dreams of authorship–this is it.

Helpful Tip #3: Give yourself permission to pause and get clear on how to best dedicate your precious resources and get back in flow so you can succeed as a writer.

Hey, Aspiring Author: you’ve got this! 

You may have noticed that in this post, we talked a lot about emotions (which we can’t control) and self-sabotaging behavior (which we CAN control).

As with most hard-yet-rewarding pursuits in life, writing a book requires self-awareness and support.

As we sign off, I want to leave you with perhaps the most important piece of advice:

You are worthy of sharing your story, and the world needs your voice.

Of course, believing this is easier said than done.

Bringing your voice to the world and your book to life isn’t easy to achieve (see my first program launch experience!), so if you’d like a thought partner and more hands-on expert support, check out my Book Proposal Blueprint program.

In this 10-week comprehensive program, I teach you everything you need to know to successfully create a professional book proposal.

By the end, you’ll have learned how to clarify your book concept, create your book proposal, find your dream agent, avoid common pitfalls, build your platform and market your book.

Sending you Big Book Energy!

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