7 real fears of wannabe authors (and how to get over them)

When I was putting together this list of fears of wannabe authors, I immediately recalled the quote: “Feel the fear and do it anyway…” It’s a poignant quote, coined by Susan Jeffers in her book of the same name, that is now bandied about loosely and printed on t-shirts and mugs all over the world. But what does it actually mean for you as an aspiring writer or wannabe author who is feeling paralysed by fear? How do you just embrace fear and get on with it anyway?

It’s a big question, that’s for sure, and one that most (if not all) professional writers and authors have had to grapple with. I know I certainly have, and I’ve been writing professionally in one capacity or another for over two decades! No doubt I will continue to be challenged by these writing fears too as I strive to push new boundaries and stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.

The thing about writing fears is that you just get better at knowing which ones are rational and which are not (I’ll give you the hint – most are not!) and you get better at heading them off at the pass so that they don’t sabotage your efforts. Because sadly, the fears of wannabe authors can become so crippling that they stop them from ever writing a book at all.  And that’s criminal!

Part of what makes ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’ a little easier, is when you know you’re not alone in your fears. Regardless of whether it’s a positive or negative emotion, humans love to feel that they are part of a crowd and not the only weirdo who is feeling a certain way.  There is comfort in being ‘the same’.

So just as others have felt as you do, others have overcome the fears and pushed through to create their books or other content. Continue reading

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11 Life lessons I re-learnt from running a retreat in Bali

I’ve been back for 10 days from running my retreat in Bali and it feels like a lifetime.  All the build up, the planning, the anticipation, then the warmth, the joy, the learning, the teaching, the uncovering, the clarity, and then BOOM!

It’s finished.

It’s over.

A bit like Christmas when you’re a kid. Or even when you’re an adult. You have a month or more of excitement, events, preparation, then you gorge yourself, your adrenalin flies and then crash. It’s done.

Why do really great, momentous events have to feel like this?

Anyway, rather than dwell on the ‘oh bugger it’s over’ vibe, I’ve decided to let the learnings settle then spin them into a positive list for you to hopefully learn something from.

Top 11 life lessons I learnt from running a retreat in Bali:

  1. Have a plan, a schedule, but be really REALLY flexible; be prepared for it to change. Because it often will.
  2. Go to bed when the sun goes down, and rise just before the sun does.  It’s restful and spectacular to align your body’s rhythm with nature.
  3. Eat when you’re hungry, not because it’s ‘lunchtime’ or ‘dinner time’. It makes for great digestion and slim fit bodies.
  4. Spend as much time in or near water as possible. Its healing properties are priceless.
  5. Respect your elders (or those who have walked before you). They have a lot to teach you.
  6. Be open to the fact that you don’t have all the answers. They arrive when you least expect them.
  7. Take time to listen: to the wind, to others, to yourself.
  8. History and tradition have their place, but don’t let your own dreams be dashed by an overwhelming sense of duty.
  9. Create quiet space for people to learn what they need to from you. You don’t have to keep pressing the point home for them to hear it.
  10. Connect freely with people in unlikely places.  You never know where you might meet your next soul mate, client or opportunity.
  11. Don’t worry about what your neighbours are doing or have; keeping up with the Joneses means you’re always one step behind.

***BONUS LESSON*** Spending time thinking about others, being of service, offers us the most wonderful clarity for our own challenges.

 

These are life lessons that transcend cultures, times, experience. They are in fact life lessons for all humans.  Ones that I have known, either instinctively or by being taught,  but ones that sometimes I forget.

Thank you Bali for reminding me.

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