The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writer's Journey (Books for Writers 4) Kindle Edition
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Joanna hits on all the right topics that kill a writer’s confidence, break his or her self-esteem, and can hold would-be writers back from achieving success as a published author.
Writer’s go through a lot of negative emotions and inner turmoil when it comes to writing. Dealing with self-doubt, fear, insecurity and that all-encompassing fear of rejection, writers live in fear of failing at their work. This isn’t only for new authors but veterans as well.
As Joanna points out: “Embrace self-doubt as part of the creative process. Be encouraged by the fact that virtually all other creatives, including your writing heroes, feel it too with every book they write.”
The basis of this book is that, it doesn’t teach anything about how to write or book publishing. It focuses on the author mindset, with each chapter hitting on a potential issue authors face, and then followed by solutions [anecdotes] for dealing with the problem.
The chapters are short and to the point, offering valuable strategies and suggestions to overcome the particular issue. What I like about this layout is you can open up the pages and read any of the chapters randomly. The book is purely about the emotional rollercoaster of being a writer and how to deal with those issues along the way.
The book is broken down into sections: Part 1 goes through the potential issues you may face during the
creative process of writing. Part 2 tackles what happens after you publish and as you move through the author journey into successive books. Part 3 offers some tips for successfully managing your author mindset in order to foster a long-term creative career.
So what are the best parts of the book? What will you take away by investing several hours in learning about the writer’s mindset?
Here are the core themes that most authors, new and old, can relate to that Joanna Penn writes on:
— The need for validation seeking
— Dealing with self-doubt, lack of confidence and uncertainty.
— Handling the fear of failure and rejection
— Using mindfulness to overcome fear
— Making a mindset shift
— Handling perfectionism
— The fear of judgment
— Facing your inner critic
— Tackling writer’s block and procrastination
— Writing original content from the heart
— Dealing with the critics of friends and family
— Learning to stay away from comparisonitis
— Defining your definition of success
— Working your way through overwhelmness
— Map your creative energy cycles
— Manage professional relationships
— Taking control of your writing career
I love Joanna’s advice on handling fear:
"The experience of fear is often worse than the actual event and if you are never afraid as a writer, then you are never challenging yourself. No one will die because you received a scathing review, or the only person who reads your book is your Mum, or you speak at a festival and people walk out."
She makes you feel as if she knows [and she does] what writer’s go through to get heard, to be creative, to interact with people, fans, the public, and to handle that internal committee that never shuts up.
When it comes to dealing with criticism, Joanna says:
“Build up resilience and a thicker skin over time, because, as a creative, you will face criticism and rejection throughout your whole career. You’re never going to please everyone, so be aware that if you put your work into the world, there will be comments you don't like.”
In the section on handling the inner critic, her advice is:
“Put your butt in the chair and get some words on the page. You don't have to sit down to write 'the best book ever,' as your inner critic will slaughter that idea pretty fast! But you can sit down to write the few lines that are in your head, or just a little chapter on something. Don't make the event into something scary. Don't build your part up. You're just sitting down to write. What could be so threatening about that?”
For creating original content from our own ideas, the author’s advice is: “Embrace what has already been done and read a great deal in the genres you enjoy and want to write in. Elements from those books will resonate in your writing quite naturally, but you can then take them further by bringing in your imagination and your voice.”
When you read this book you will, I am confident to say, be a more confident, happier, and positive writer that is able to face the fear and do it anyway. By building up your “Author Mindset,” this will give you the mental empowerment and courage and seize control of your writing career and put yourself out there no matter the fear or self-doubt you are experiencing.
Joanna’s book is an inspirational powerhouse of wisdom, solid advice and, backed up by years of experience in the field, you will walk away with the confidence that, “Yes, I can write a book!”