Episode 60 – When is it time to call yourself a writer?

In the last few episodes of Diving into Writing, we focus on the overarching theme of imposter syndrome. One of the many ways imposter syndrome can impact you is that it can make you reluctant to claim the title of writer or author.

Mariëlle and I talk about our experience of claiming the title of writer. We identify when and why we chose the moment we did to take the plunge.

Sometimes it helps to take it in steps:

I write.
I am a writer.
I am an author.

Although, for many, writer and author are the same thing. 
Claiming the title could tell the world and  perhaps more importantly, you that will published your manuscript or intend to live off the proceeds of your books. It could signal a transition and claiming the title can lead to you taking writing more seriously and kickstart your career.

Do you call yourself a writer?

Do you prefer writer or author? For what reasons?

When did you start calling yourself a writer?

Episode 59 – Dealing with Comparisonitis

The Difference between Comparing and Comparisonitis

When we compare ourselves with others, it can inspire us to do better, to recognise that a goal is achievable. At the same time, comparisonitis leads to negative emotions of jealousy and shame. It makes us want to give up because we aren’t good enough, and there’s no point trying. It results in us focusing on what we don’t have and makes us question our self-worth.

Counteracting Comparisonitis

Awareness of the issue is the first step to tackling the problem.

Recognise that most people have to put the work in before achieving success, even if you are not there to witness it.

Share your feelings with someone you trust.

Consider what’s essential in life — everyone will die.

Perhaps you are exactly where you need to be.

Try to get away from thinking with a scarcity mindset. Success is not a pie! It is not divided into finite pieces.

This Episode’s Question

Think about the last time you experience comparisonitis. How did it make you feel? How could you have done or thought things differently?

Episode 58 – The Fear of Success

‘As I interpret the Course, “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’ 

Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A COURSE IN MIRACLES, pp. 190–191.

It is not only the fear of failure that can affect us at a fundamental level, it can also be the fear of success. Our goals remain small when we are reluctant to embrace the change that would inevitably come with success.  Deep inside, we might believe that success is dangerous and our family and friends may worry that we won’t want to know them anymore if we become successful.

As with the fear of failure, understanding what drives you places you in control, allowing you to seek a balance that enhances your writing life. 

Does a fear of success show up in your life and if so, do you have any idea of where it comes from?

Mariëlle mentioned Elizabeth Gilbert in the podcast. The book Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life and Let Go of Your Fear is widely available.

Episode 57 – Fear of Failure

Whether it’s a blank page or the terror of publishing, writing can be scary. At the heart of the problem could be a deep-rooted fear of failure. The effect can stop progress and induce a reluctance to experiment. It can manifests in different ways despite the commonly held belief that it results in paralysis. The truth is that it drives some people to work harder. However, failure as the driving force increases stress, which sucks the joy out of a potentially positive experience.

Understanding what drives you places you in control, allowing you to seek a balance that enhances your writing life. Consider a world where failure was feedback and curiosity drives experimentation.

How does a fear of failure affect your writing?
Are you afraid of failure or afraid of success?

Mariëlle mentioned Elizabeth Gilbert in the podcast. The book Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life and Let Go of Your Fear is widely available.

Episode 56 – The Effect of Limiting Beliefs on Writing

Do you know what is holding you back from a successful writing career? It could be something as simple as your deep-rooted beliefs about success formed in childhood or as a result of life experiences that have convinced you that it’s safer to pass through life unnoticed and unrecognised.

There are three stages to addressing these issues:

  1. The first step to uncover any limiting beliefs.
  2. The second is to consider when and where they originated.
  3. The final step is to identify what you would like to believe instead.

Start by trying this free 19-minute meditation on Youtube led by Mariëlle, or find the exercise in Mariëlle’s free resource for writers when you sign up for her newsletter.

Episode 55 – How Does Imposter Syndrome Affect Your Writing?

People who struggle with imposter syndrome believe that they are undeserving of their achievements. They feel that they aren’t as competent or intelligent as others, and someone will discover the truth about them. It’s that nagging feeling that you aren’t good enough or that you fall short compared to those around you. People in the highest, most successful positions can suffer from imposter syndrome.

Most people can be affected by imposter syndrome to a greater or lesser degree. Comparing ourselves to others can limit what we can achieve.

When do you experience self-doubt?
How does imposter syndrome manifest itself to you?
What kind of things are you telling yourself?

Episode 54 – Get More Book Reviews

How to get more book reviews

Book reviews are important for all books, but especially so for self-published books because most sales are online. Whether you are a new or an established author, one of the hardest things to do is to get readers to leave a review of your book. After all, it takes time and effort to post a review, and most people are too busy trying to fit everything into their day. So how do authors get reviews?

First of all, what are the different types of review available to an author? An internet search identifies many websites that offer professional reviews of individual books. There are even options to pay for or arrange your own virtual book tour.

Writers can even try to get experts in their field or famous authors to endorse their books.

ARC reviews

An advanced reader copy (ARC) is a pre-published, almost-complete version of a new book that is circulated to people who read it before print. These might be professional reviewers and book bloggers, or readers. Advanced copies allow people to read the book before the publication date so their reviews can coincide with the book’s debut.

Amazon Reviews

When it comes to selling books online, it’s Amazon reviews that can make or break interest in a book. However, Amazon is keen to ensure that all reviews are genuine and this affects, which results in reviews disappearing or not being accepted at times.

Use of External Services

There are many external sites, such as Booksprout and Story Origin, that aim to grow ARC teams and mailing list and help authors get more reviews.

We’d love to hear about your challenges or triumphs in getting reviews.

Episode 53 – The Wonders of Beta Readers

What are beta readers?

Beta readers review finished manuscripts before they’re published and provide the author with feedback from a reader’s point of view. They can answer author questions, such as, which characters are interesting and since beta readers highlight issues writers become blind to during the countless revisions. They can identify where a reader would be more likely to stop reading or where the pacing doesn’t work.

How to find beta readers

Friends and family can be beta readers probably the easiest people to ask but they may not be the best. If they don’t normally read the same genre as the manuscript, they may be overly critical of the wrong elements or they may be reluctant to be honest. Readers groups or swopping manuscripts with other writers might be a better option.

Qualities You Need in a Beta Reader

  1. Your beta readers should enjoy reading and not see it as an academic exercise.
  2. Preferably, they should read the same or a similar genre.
  3. Your beta readers need to be reliable and able to work to a deadline.
  4. Your beta readers need to be willing to be honest and you may need to encourage this by being grateful for all feedback. This is not the same as acting on all feedback.

Episode 51 – Newsletters

Every author needs a mailing list, which means sending out regular newsletters but how do you decide what to include? Does your audience want personal facts or an insight into your daily living or should you keep things professional? This is something Marielle and I discuss in episode 51.