12 Excuses For Failing as a Writer
My career has evolved over the past ten years to where I am now involved in many areas of the digital publishing industry from consulting, educating to writing. Back in 2004 I had the dream of becoming a successful author. It was an unrealistic dream back then as my only hope was to get a publisher to accept my manuscript and publish it.
Discovering eBooks, which back then were basically just a PDF’s being sold via Clickbank, I decided to write my first non-fiction eBook which sold well but did not reach the heights of any best-seller lists. What it did do was provide me with the belief that in fact one day we would read eBooks on computer screens and mobile devices. That reality took off around 2007 when Amazon came to the party with their Kindle. I could have made many excuses and never published that first eBook or any one of my 24 that are now published and sold across various platforms.
My strengths were, and always will be in writing non-fiction, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the creative side of writing my first crime fiction thriller. I could have made many excuses over the past ten years that would have destroyed my writing career. Unfortunately, I still see these excuses being made today by some writers.
From my own personal experience, as well as speaking to published authors, I have identified 12 common ‘excuses’ and reasons as to why you may be failing as a writer. The good news is that you can address each of these ‘excuses’ before you use them as a reason for failing.
If you are guilty of using one of the following 12 excuses then you will need to address them now if you wish to become the next Veronica Roth and avoid joining the club of ‘failed writers.’
Excuse 1: You Failed English Class in High School!
Although I never failed English class in high school I must say I didn’t enjoy the class. I have also put my hand up a number of times that spelling and grammar are not my strong areas. My point here is that you do not have to master spelling and grammar to become a successful writer. That is why there are editors. So, don’t undermine your potential or ability to write a best-seller just because you believe you are weak in this area. You can solve this problem by seeking help from an editor for your writing.
Excuse 2: You Believe Writing Should Guarantee You an Income
You fail to accept that you may not make a lot of money from writing so you lose your motivation to write and give-up. When you write and decide to take on the challenge of self-publishing an eBook you must accept that you may just not make a lot of money from it. Not everyone can become a best-selling author. If this was the guarantee that came along with writing then we would have hundreds of thousands of self-published eBooks being listed on the best-seller lists each year. This also goes back to my point that if you are only writing to make money then you may just be setting yourself up for a big fall. You should enjoy writing. If you do not, then you are likely to be unsuccessful. So using the excuse in not writing more eBooks because you believe you are owed ‘something’ for your first eBook will only prevent you from becoming a prolific writer. Writing more eBooks will ultimately increase your chances of becoming a successful writer. You never know which eBook will take off and then you can sell your back-list.
Excuse 3: You are Afraid of Failure!
Being afraid of failure prevents many people from attempting to take on a challenge or commit to something new. In one eBook I wrote ‘Mental Training for Tennis – Your Winning Mindset,’ I talked about having the right ‘Mindset’ in order to succeed and win more tennis matches. This eBook is written for tennis players; however, the same principle applies to writers. You must attain a winning mindset where you believe that you will succeed as a writer and a published author. If not, you are already setting yourself up for failure.
Yes, there are no guarantees in writing. But you need to believe that you have the ability to write a best-seller. You should also take comfort in knowing that if you tick all the boxes for your eBook then you could just be the next EL James or Amanda Hocking. You can become a best-selling author, it is just earned, and not a guaranteed right.
Excuse 4: You Constantly Blame Others for Failing!
You have to be accountable for your own life and what you do. The same applies to writing. You cannot blame others for failing to become a successful writer or author. The information is there for you to learn how to become a best-selling author. It is just up to you to action it and get it done. Have a quick look at our department on ‘Success Stories‘ and you will be inspired when you learn how people just like you became best-selling authors because they took on the challenge with confidence and were accountable for their own writing career.
Excuse 5: You Write With No Direction or Purpose!
Before you put pen to paper or start typing away, you must have a plan. This is a key element of the ‘eBook’ Planning’ phase. Set realistic and achievable goals and this will help keep you on track when writing. If you find yourself becoming lazy in writing then come back and review your goals.
Excuse 6: You are Lazy and Procrastinate!
OK, this is an excuse you may already know but have yet to address it. We all have the potential to be lazy when it comes to something we really do not want to do. If you are passionate about writing and succeeding as an author then you should also have the desire to write. If not, you may want to re- evaluate your reasons for writing an eBook. If you are writing just to make money then that could be why you are lazy and fail to find the time to write. Unfortunately, the pay-off does not come until you publish and start selling your eBooks.
Excuse 7: You Hang Out with the Wrong Crowd!
Another topic covered in my eBook involves surrounding yourself with people who have your best interests at heart. Do you have any friends who always seem to be preventing you from writing because they belittle or discourage you from doing so? If so, remove them from your life unless they can support you in your dreams and goals. It is these ‘toxic’ people in our life that can cause unnecessary problems. Surround yourself with fellow writers and authors who share your goal of becoming a published author. This could be online or in writing clubs.
Excuse 8: You Are Only Focused on the Short Term
My first eBook took close to a year to write. I was guilty of many of the ‘excuses’ in this post which is why it took me so long to publish. My main reason was that I was never completely happy with my writing so I was always too afraid to publish. When writing, you must focus on the big picture and what your goals are for 6, 12 and 24 months down the road. Set a publication date for your eBook and set goals for your marketing and promotion campaign. Writing and marketing often run together.
Excuse 9: You Want to Write But Do Not Want to Promote!
As a self-published author you must take on the task in marketing and promoting your eBook. This takes time, a lot of effort and know how. So your writing career will be short lived if you do not want to follow through in promoting your eBook.
Excuse 10: You are Not Productive!
Do you feel that you spend hours writing, only to look back and realize that you really didn’t accomplish too much in that session? Every time you sit down to write you need to have a goal. It may be to write a chapter, construct a storyline, improve on the plot or characters. Whatever it may be, you must be productive and take a step closer each time to your end goal. I have a post on using goal setting software that may be of interest for you if you require some help. Check out that post here; ‘5 Tools for Helping Authors Keep Track of Goals and Monitor Progress’
Excuse 11: You Are Addicted to the Internet and Waste Valuable Time!
Social media can be a powerful tool for writers and authors to connect with, engage and communicate with their target audience. Social media can also be a great way to waste time. There are also many more distractions online. Do you spend hours searching to see what your friends are doing? Constantly reading the news website? When you have dedicated time for writing, do not be distracted by time-wasting pursuits on the internet!
Excuse 12: You Over-analyze!
It is only natural that a creative writer will over-analyze everything. Our minds are constantly working over-time with new ideas for stories and posts. The problem with this is that you may try to wait until your writing is ‘perfect’ in your eyes before publishing it. As a result, you never get to publish your eBook because you ‘over-analyze’ and always think you can make improvements. At some point you have to publish! Yu cannot use the excuse indefinitely that you are not happy with your eBook and therefore cannot publish it. Quite possibly your eBook is ready for publication, you are just not prepared for that event to occur.
There are many reasons and excuses writers use. I urge you to read the success stories of some best-selling self-published authors who have become millionaires. You will soon find that they have the same concerns, worries, doubts and questions that you also have. The difference is that they did not let excuses get in their way of self-publishing with confidence and achieving their dreams.