Continued from last week's 12 Ways to Fail As An Author.
Fifth: Believing all your friends and family. This pitfall is one of the worst. Generally, friends and family want to support anything you do. All of your endeavors will be applauded by them. Of, if not fully applauded, your ideas, especially to write a book, will be accepted with grace.
I would love it if we could rely on the advice and insight of family and friends, but the truth is so different. These are not the people to trust when it comes to deciding to write a book. Their opinions will be suspect. Yes, share and discuss and take their thoughts to heart. But don't believe them when they say, "Yes, that's a great idea! It's going to be a best-seller!" Saying so doesn't make it so.
Sixth: Not believing your friends and family. Truth is, friends and family can offer wonderful encouragement. Yes, they are not to be fully trusted to tell you the truth about your book, but they are to be consulted and listened to. Someone in the family will attempt to be honest. "Might be a good idea," she will say, with a shrug. "Could be worth it. You're smart enough to do it so go ahead."
The only part to believe there is the last sentence. You are smart enough to do it, so go ahead. Just remember, you will need 'readers' to keep you honest. People who are not afraid to tell you that paragraph sucks. Friends and family are for the beginning discussion. As you write, you need other eyeballs, too.
Seventh: Deciding to market your book yourself. I see this a lot. Many new authors do some Google research, read a few ebooks, and set out on their own to bring their book to the attention of would-be readers. I am in awe of them. I also think they are missing the point. They are the author of the book. The owner or Founder of their business. They are not marketers.
Even folks in the marketing profession will hire others to market their book. Why? Because it's a huge, on-going task that starts the day you begin writing. And you, dear author, need to write, without the task of marketing your book hanging over your head. Can you be successful at it? Maybe. But why risk it? You write. Let a marketing expert do the marketing.
Eight: Letting your writing muse get you down. I have a muse. He's Edgar Allan Poe. I wrote about him in this post about muses. You should have a muse, also. To muse, of course, means to be lost in thought. Writers often tap into a favorite author as a muse - allowing conversations with said muse to inspire the author to greater writing. Often, writers will say, "I don't hear my muse today. I can't write!"
The reason they say this is because they have writer's block and want to blame their failure to write a single word on someone or something else. Your muse, whomever he or she may be, is not responsible for your writing goals. Your muse can inspire you to write more, and even to write better, but do not let the excuse of, "My muse is silent today," keep you from those 1000 words. Write. Muse or no muse.
Next week we'll cover the final four in this series on 12 Ways to Fail As An Author. Meanwhile, join our Smart News and get the inside look at our new programs and ebooks created to help you achieve your goals next year. We often discuss all of the questions here, in more detail, for your learning pleasure, to be consumed at your leisure.
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