63. How to Commit to Your Book

Although every author faces doubts along the way, successful authors all have one approach to combat them in common.

They know how to commit to their book and work consistently until it’s done—even though there are doubts.

In this episode, I give 3 simple tools you can use to commit to your book, finish writing it, and get it out to the world.

Mentioned in This Episode

Jump-Start: A free guide to help you jump-start your nonfiction book.

Redefine Wealth for Yourself – Patrice Washington

Dare Greatly Podcast – Danielle Vaughn

Episode Transcript

Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your author coach, Candice L Davis.

I hope your week and your writing are going well.

In my own writing, and in coaching other authors, I’ve noticed some common thoughts and behaviors among those of us who get all the way to the end.

No one is exempt from the doubts that arise when you’re writing a book.

The human brain is designed to avoid pain, and there are so many potential painful moments in this process which can manifest into having thoughts like:

What if my book isn’t any good?

What if no one buys it?

What if people buy it but don’t like it?

What if I get haters and trolls because of my book?

What if? What if? What if?

That’s all perfectly natural. So how do you get past it and get the writing done, get your book out to the world, and promote it like you love it?

Focus on becoming the kind of person who commits to their book.

What does that person think?

What does that person say?

What does that person do?

Successful authors have many of the same thoughts you do. 

They question whether or not they’re writing the right book.

They second-guess themselves, change directions, and then change back.

Successful authors may even take a much-longer-than-planned break from writing.

But they always come back to the work and see it through to the end because they think their way back to it.

You’re going to have thoughts of self-doubt, but you don’t have to accept them as fact.
Let’s walk through an example.

If you’re trying to write your memoir, but your brain keeps telling you that your life story isn’t enough for a whole book, take a look at that thought.

Is it really true that your story isn’t enough for a whole book?

Is it possible that thought could be wrong?

If it is wrong, what should you do?

Spoiler alert: you should keep writing, friend.

Fortunately, you don’t have to believe in your book 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

In the beginning, you just need to believe in it in short spurts: long enough to write your outline, long enough to write a few pages or the next chapter.

The old, unhelpful thoughts—those limiting beliefs—will pop back up, and you can just let them pass you by so it can be time to write again.

In the meantime, practice believing thoughts that serve you. Thoughts that will help you reach your goal of becoming a successful author—or however you define success.

When my life coach told me to practice believing thoughts that served me, I used to get so frustrated.

I was convinced I didn’t know how to practice believing a new thought.

So let me give you 3 practices that work for me.

#1. Choose a thought that serves you.

What do you need to think and believe to feel committed to writing your book?

Write down the helpful thought—nothing too extreme, something you can actually believe—and put it on a post-it in your writing area or on the screensaver on your laptop. Wherever you can see it before or during your writing sessions is perfect.

Read that thought out loud when you sit down to write.

So if you tend to get stuck in thinking, “Nobody wants to read another book about someone like me,” for example, then choose a thought that directly dismantles that unhelpful thought.

Something like, “My experience is unique and no one else’s story is just like mine,” would work.

Whenever the unhelpful thought arises, allow it to show up, and then answer it with the thought that serves you.

This sounds super simple, and if you’ve done any thought work or mindset work, then it won’t be new to you.

But if you haven’t applied it to writing your book, then I invite you to do it now.

#2. The second way to commit to your book is to write it into reality.

The second way of practicing a new thought is so elementary, which is why I love it. It’s super simple, and it works.

I’ve mentioned this practice on the podcast before, and I’ll probably mention it again because it’s surprisingly effective.

My client Patrice Washington shares this strategy in her latest book Redefine Wealth for Yourself. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you pick up a copy.

Patrice calls this practice writing your standards.

If you were less than a perfect child, your elementary school teachers may have had you do this, but in this case, it’s so much more effective because you get to choose your standard.

Maybe your fifth-grade teacher made you write, “I will not talk in class,” twenty-five, fifty, or a hundred times.

And maybe you still talked in class because you were never invested in changing your behavior.

But when you choose the thought, when you set the standard, writing it several times over every day can really solidify it in your mind and help you shift your thinking.

I know it may sound too easy to be true, but I’ll just share with you that I set a standard in 2020 that really changed my business.

Every day I wrote in my journal, “I will create and deliver $500,000 in value in 2020.” 

In the beginning I wrote it up to fifty times every single day.

As the year went on, and I began to really believe it, I wrote it a little less.

But I showed up for my coaching clients in new ways to provide deeper value.

I dug deeper to give more of my passion and expertise at speaking engagements.

And I showed up to pour as much value as I possibly could into this podcast week after week.

I created a measurement system to assign value to all those activities, including of course the actual income I brought in, and I met and exceeded that goal. And as a consequence, my business grew by a greater factor than it ever had in a single year.

Because I was writing it every day and allowing myself to believe it was possible, I saw new opportunities to meet or exceed my standard. And I trusted myself to go after them.

Set a standard for your book: something that raises the bar for you and something you can achieve.

Write that standard at least twenty times a day until you not only believe it’s true but you take action to make it a reality every single day.

That standard could be the number of words or pages you write, the hours you commit to your book, the value you pour into it—whatever you need to believe in to commit to writing your book.

#3. The third way to commit to your book is to write a letter to it. 

This is a tool I resisted using when I first learned about it from coach Danielle Vaughn, who hosts the Dare Greatly podcast and who coached me with some of my business goals.

However if it sounds like it would be helpful to you, I encourage you to try it. You can do it once or more than once, depending on where you are in your writing process.

Danielle had me write a letter to my business and it ended up being a game changer for me.

And I encourage you to do the same thing for your book.

If you’ve been neglecting your book, apologize in your letter.

If you’re afraid to let your book down by not doing it justice, express that thought.

Share your fears, but also share your hopes and dreams for your book.

Write down what you want it to do in the world, how you want it to positively impact your readers, and how you want it to serve you and help you achieve your own goals.

Spill your guts, friend. 

And close your letter with a renewed commitment to your book.

This is such a great way to stop avoiding the unhelpful thoughts and give voice to them, so you can move past them with a focus on the possibilities of everything you can create with your book.

Writing a world-class book, which I promise you can do, doesn’t happen in a day. It doesn’t happen over a long weekend.

It requires an ongoing commitment.

But it’s okay if your commitment falters. You have these 3 tools to get you back on track.

#1. Choose a better thought. 

Choose a better thought and answer your naysaying brain with the thought that serves you and supports your commitment to your book.

#2. Set your standards and write them. 

Write them every day, over and over, until they become a part of your belief system.

#3. Write a letter to your book.

Pour your heart out on the page, and renew your commitment to do whatever it takes to write the best book you can possibly write.

That’s it for this episode, my friends.

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on IG @candiceldavis. And if you use one of these tools, DM me and let me know how it works for you.

Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words. I’m Your Author Coach, Candice L Davis. And I’ll see you next time.

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