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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Does Fear Hold You Back from Publishing Your Book?

I'm anxiously awaiting to receive my manuscript back from its editing process and already I'm feeling slightly terrified.

This is a big moment in my life because when I do get it back and make the necessary alterations and corrections, I'll have my first fiction novel ready to be published.

Naturally I'm very excited about this and I've already started to plan out my fourth book in an effort to take my mind off my third book. I figure that while I'm waiting, I may as well be doing something useful. Writers never stop writing so it's onwards and upwards with book number four.

But then I start to think about all the other writers I network with. Some excitedly tell me that they're working on their first novel and I presume they can't wait to get it published. And then they tell me that they've been working on it for the past sixteen years.

Unless they're writing an entire library, I don't think any book should take this long and I wonder what's holding them back. Many, many writers have other commitments such as other jobs and family issues but they still manage to publish a book every year or two.

Then I think to myself is it fear? Fear of the unknown and people writing reviews stating they can't write. Fear of being ridiculed for publishing a book that only sells one copy per year.

Thoughts like these go through every writers' mind, whether you're J.K. Rowling or a complete novice. But what separates these writers is that the J.K. Rowling's publish their books and try not to worry too much while they get on with writing their next novel. The other writers will dither and dither and make constant rewrites and corrections, consequently never getting their book published.

You don't want to rush your book and it's crucial to make it the best it possibly can be before you release it for the world to see. But what's important is realising when that time has arrived.

If you're a writer who find themselves worrying a lot about their book and you constantly change and rewrite it, I hope this post has helped you. I have a self help book about fear and anxiety and it's got one pivotal lesson:

Action brings satisfaction. No matter what the problem or fear is, doing something about it will always make you feel better.

So take action and have the courage to publish your book before you go completely insane.


  1. I have a lot of anxiety...I am really working on it. It took me over a year just to put my blog up. I was really scared to put myself "out there."

  2. Thank you Beth, and thank you for commenting on my blog. I bet you feel like you've really achieved something now after waiting all this time to get your blog up and running. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

  3. Those who took sixteen years to get to publishing finally are undoubtedly the oldsters in the crowd who spent years querying agents with zero success. That was me. Then, I just had to bite the bullet. I told myself it didn't matter if I sold one book or a thousand. It was just something that would survive me. It was published and launched out into the world. Trumpets? Horns?, Drumroll? No way. Silence. And then I forgot about the critics and started the other side of publishing: marketing. You're one of 300 to 400 thousand books published annually. Get busy!

  4. You seem to be in the same place I am. I have written 4 non fiction books and now have finished a sequel fiction mystery novel (both books) I am going to try to not self publish because I want to sell more than a couple hundred and feel the story is good. Just took a class of writing a query letter and finding the correct agent. This has to be the most difficult part of writing besides editing the book. Starting a blog may be next.

  5. Great post. I'm going to put a link and write about this on my blog I've had my blog for 6 yrs. I have been writing this 2nd script for 5 yrs. I was busy with working instead of the script. But at least I had my blog.

  6. That's a very good point you make Larry. I know a couple of writers like that and they've all ended up self publishing with a very good backlist and have made a success of themselves.

    Living Beneath the Radar,

    You can end up selling thousands of books if you self publish and earn more money from it as well. So don't assume that every self published book is doomed to fail. Many traditionally published books are taken off the market because they've failed to sell well so I wish you the very best with whichever path you wish to take.


    Ah, thanks very much - that's very nice of you to say. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)