Be Creative By Guest What holds us back as authors? It’s not a lack of opportunity. Barriers to entry have never been lower for aspiring authors. Almost anyone in the world is capable of creating and publishing a book, thanks to the digital revolution. It’s not a lack of knowledge. There is more information out there than ever before. Books on publishing, courses, videos, you name it. Whichever way you prefer to learn, there’s something for you. So what is it? Maybe it’s ourselves. Often, the thoughts we think, and the stories we tell ourselves, end up holding us back. These are known as limiting beliefs. So what are some of the most common limiting beliefs held by authors, and how can they be overcome? “I’m Not The Kind Of Person Who Could Be An Author” A major belief that holds a lot of people back from becoming an author is the belief that somehow, at their core, they are not the right type of person. So where does this stem from? Partly, it can be from protection. Failure, or failing to meet expectations, can be painful. By telling ourselves we never could succeed, we avoid the potential pain of trying. Also, it can be an incorrect understanding of reality. No one is born an author. It’s a learnable skill. Sure, some may be more inclined to it than others. But almost all of us can progress through practice. Look for examples to inspire you. Helen DeWitt didn’t publish her debut until she was 44. Anna Sewell managed to complete Black Beauty even with failing health. The only type of person who can’t become an author is the one who believes that to be true. “I’ve Been Rejected Before, So I Won’t Risk Trying Again” It’s a cliche that you need a thick skin to be an author. Unlike many cliches, it’s only as true as you want it to be. In the old days, it’s true that rejection was almost a mandatory rite of passage on the tried and tested author path. Legends like Stephen King, James Patterson, and J.K Rowling were brutally rejected before being accepted. These days? Not so much. The traditional publishing route might still be fairly competitive and hard to navigate. But self-publishing lets you cut out the middleman and get your stories in front of the people who matter most. The readers. But what about the brutal reviews people leave? While harsh criticism can sting, it’s not the same as having the door to the world of publishing slammed shut in your face. Negative people will be negative, no matter what, and if a review is critical but fairly so, you can use it as valuable feedback. However, if you still don’t want to face the slings and arrows of the book-buying masses, there are plenty of places for you. Online writing communities exist that are entirely supportive and positive places. If fear of rejection is your reason for not being an author, banish it. These days, you only face as much rejection as you’re comfortable with. “No One Will Like The Type Of Book I Want To Write” One of the coolest things about the online world is the ability to connect with others. No matter how obscure your interests, you will be able to find people out there who share them. This has enabled authors to write about the things they truly love. If you want to chase the mass market, feel free, but you don’t have to. The emergence of exciting new subgenres is proof that there’s probably someone out there who will love what you write. This freedom to create should empower you. Don’t feel restrained by a prejudiced notion of what people want to read. Go ahead and write the book you truly want to write, and the reception it gets may well surprise you. So, What’s Your Excuse? Hopefully, you see that the common limiting beliefs that hold authors back can be overcome. Which limiting beliefs are you currently struggling with? Which have you overcome in the past? Feel free to leave a comment to help other authors get out of their way and start their journey to success.