Self-Publishing Starter Tips Series: #1 Creating a Positive Mindset
Welcome to the first in a series of Self-Publishing Starter Tips.
So you’ve written your first draft, you’ve decided that self-publishing is your preferred choice and you want to know what to do next. Does this sound like you? Well, let me help you get started on your self-publishing adventure.
The first thing you need to tackle isn’t the practicalities of writing, research or designing. It’s actually about you. Mindset can be the biggest stumbling block for many aspiring authors, and if you don’t deal with your mind monkeys before you embark on your self-publishing journey, you’ll never reach the final chapter.
With that in mind, let’s delve a little deeper. Answer these questions as honestly as possible.
- How do you feel about self-publishing?
- Do you think it’s the inferior option compared to traditional publishing, for example? Why do you think that?
- Do you think it’s too complicated and you’ll never understand the process? Why do you think that?
- Does the thought of self-publishing your book raise all kinds of emotions?
- Are you worried about being judged? Why?
- Are you afraid of looking like an amateur (or a fraud)? Why?
- Are you conscious of feeling vulnerable amongst your clients/competitors? Why?
Please don’t worry. All your fears are completely normal. Most authors (self-published and traditionally published) experience them. But just like anything which pushes us out of our comfort zone, we need to step out of our own way before we can make real, long-lasting progress and achieve the results we want.
Overcome Your Fears, Wobbles and Anxieties About Self-Publishing through Journaling
One way I encourage my clients to overcome their writing and/or self-publishing roadblocks is to journal through them.
Unleashing ideas/thoughts/emotions from our head and writing them down on paper reduces the power these words have over you. An anxious thought always escalates into worst-case-scenario but when it’s turned into written words, the hold it has over us diminishes. Seeing our thoughts in black and white helps us realise that the problem we’re facing isn’t as challenging as we’re making out.
Give it a try. Grab a piece of paper and a pen right now. (Don’t do this on your computer – you get a stronger emotional connection and better overall experience if you write by hand.) Answer the following questions.
- What thoughts arise when you think about self-publishing your book?
- Can you describe the emotions – both physically and mentally?
- If you listened to these thoughts, accepted them as truth, would they stop you from self-publishing? How would you feel if you didn’t self-publish and just kept your book to yourself?
Once you’ve written down your answers, spent a few minutes reflecting on them. After this extra thinking time, add any more thoughts that pop up. Then consider these next questions.
- How will you feel when you’re holding a copy of your book in your hand?
- What emotions will arise when you see your book for sale on the Amazon store?
- What will it feel like to tell your friends/family/colleagues/clients that you’re launching your book?
Again, you need to delve into the depths of your soul here.
Now pretend you’re watching this whole scenario playing out on a huge cinema screen.
You’re sitting with your popcorn, the dramatic music starts and you’re there, your book in hand (looking fabulous by the way!) presenting to the audience, sharing your inspirational message and beaming with pride.
Get as carried away as you like with this part. Being able to recall this very personal cinema experience whenever you’re faced with your fears is going to give
you the confidence to work through any wobbles.
And one final prompt to journal through…
Can you think of something new you tried – flying for the first time, ice skating as an adult, a new exercise, buying a puppy, dating as a divorcee – that initially filled you with fear? How did you feel when you let go of those fears and did it anyway? Elated? Relieved? Was it the best confidence-boost ever?
Journal through that experience, spark those positive emotions and indulge in them once more. If the urge takes you, grab some more popcorn and play out that happy scenario on your cinema screen too.
One of the best books I’ve ever read is called Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers. I read it when I was thinking about resigning from your job and becoming a full-time, freelance writer/proofreader. My children were very small at the time and school holidays were especially tricky. I wanted to be at home for them during school holidays and poorly days. I didn’t want to be in a job that stifled my creativity and gave me the Sunday night blues. And I can honestly say, it’s thanks to implementing many of the tools Susan Jeffers shares in this book, that I found the confidence to step out of my own way and just do it!
If you’re struggling with the notion of self-publishing and/or writing your book and/or anything else, in fact, you’d find much to resonate with in this fab book.
I hope that’s given you an incentive to take action (even if it’s just a baby step today and another tomorrow).
Watch out for more self-publishing starter tips over the coming weeks because I’m on a mission to help you get your book out there and in front of all those readers who are waiting to buy it!