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7 Reasons Why Most Authors Fail

Now that the Self Publishing Podcast is almost 2 years old (old enough to drink and sell sexual favors, in podcast years), we’re beginning to notice some definite trends. We focused on a lot of the things that work in our self publishing bookWrite. Publish. Repeat, but it’s time to turn things around and bum everybody out.

Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important, because we all have defense mechanisms that let us justify tons of stupid crap.

Time to tip that sanctimonius cow over.

“I’m not doing what the guys suggest in Write. Publish. Repeat because I have my own ways but am obeying the same principles,” you may be saying, “so why am I not getting anywhere?”

Well, are you doing any of what follows in addition to all that “different but still correct” stuff? Because if you are, then Houston, you definitely have a problem.

Here the biggest reasons that self-publishers fail.

1. Not Starting

Let’s start with the most obvious one. It kills me even to include it, but there are actually people out there saying you can be a writer without writing, so I feel the need to step up and lob that idiot ball back into the idiot court.

InertiaIf you do not write, you are not a writer.

That’s all there is to it. I can’t believe there is feel-good bullshit out there claiming that writing can be “within” you and that you can go around, wear a beret, and claim to be a writer even if you’ve written nothing.

Oh, those words are inside you? They’reincubating? Well, whoopity fucking doo for you! Good luck with spreading your ideas. Good luck getting sales. Good luck paying rent. Good luck getting your spouse or significant others to support you in spending time away from grunt work to do it.

Most people don’t put metaphorical pen to paper because they’re afraid. I get it. We’ve all been there. We’re not bashing you for being afraid — afraid of failing, afraid of being judged harshly, afraid that everyone will laugh at you. We understand that fear, but the only way to be a writer — especially a successful one — is to get past the fear and start. Your sweating ridicule, though understandable, is probably exaggerated. In most cases, nobody is paying attention to whether you succeed or fail. 

If you write, you’re a writer. You’ve started. Excellent job. Now do more, and pour in the hours to do it better.

2. Not Finishing

This one should also be obvious, but we see it all the time. In these cases, writers aren’t surprised that they’re not successful, but are incredibly frustrated. We understand. Before joining the podcast, I couldn’t finish a second book. Before meeting Sean, Dave hadn’t finished his first. The phenomenon of the writer with great ideas but no clue where to take her story is all too familiar.

But take heart. The toughest nuts crack if you just keep trying. We also hope our upcoming Kickstarter project Fiction Unboxed will show a few frustrated “can’t finish” writers a few tricks by opening up every detail of exactly how Sean and I make the donuts.

Sometimes, though, it’s not a matter of not knowing how. Most cases of writer’s block, in our opinion, can be easily reduced to simple fear. Again, we understand. Once you finish your book, you must either publish it or confess to your fear. Once published, everyone will be able to read the language of your soul … and, in a few cases, criticize it.

You must push past this. Don’t worry about making your book perfect, because it never can be. Make it professional (see the next section) and get a good edit and generally make it as clean as you possibly can, but don’t sweat the story over and over and over at the expense of shipping. Sean has said on the podcast, “perfect is the enemy of done.” And it’s true. Don’t be perfect. In most cases, it’s best to be finished.

If you must use a pen name because you’re so terrified that what you’ve written is terrible, do that. But you have to ship it. You can’t move on until you do.

Finish, then finish more.

Keep moving, and improving.

3. Treating Publishing Like … Continue reading here:  http://selfpublishingpodcast.com/7-reasons-why-most-authors-fail/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=7-reasons-why-most-authors-fail

Writing and Publishing My Book: The Curse of Writer’s Block

The Curse of Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block. A curse well known to anybody that has ever been required to put quill to ink, pen to paper or, in keeping with technology, finger to keyboard. The sudden phenomenon that comes out of nowhere like a falling piano and lampoons all efforts at creativity when it is specifically required.

The most common cause is a simple lack of inspiration yet the curse can also be linked to depression and anxiety, mood disorders caused by changes in the brain’s frontal lobe. A widely held belief is that the sudden ceasing of ideas and creativity is all part of the natural ebb and flow of the process. It could also be claimed that it is a result of trying to pin down something elusive and free in the same way that a comedian who, upon discovery of their trade, is beseeched “go on then, tell us a joke.” Ask a writer to give a thousand words on a set subject and the words will flow, ask a writer to give twenty on a subject of their own choice and sooner or later the well runs dry.

Henry Roth is perhaps the most famous sufferer of writer’s block. Roth’s first novel “Call It Sleep” was published in 1934 and was regarded as a depression-era masterpiece. After beginning and aborting his second novel, Roth was struck with the dreaded Writer’s Block and worked as a firefighter, a teacher, a labourer and anything that didn’t require him to write before retiring. His second novel “Nature’s First Green” was eventually published in 1979. Roth’s block was due to a combination of depression, an unwillingness to confront the problems of his past and, strangely, political problems.

Widely-acclaimed film makers the Coen brothers also suffered under the curse of Writer’s Block whilst working on a screenplay for their prohibition-era film “Millers Crossing.” A dark and twisting story of gangsters and corruption revolving around a femme fatale, “Millers Crossing” is certainly a great film yet when Joel and Ethan Coen hit a block they decided to make an art of Writer’s Block. More specifically, they wrote a film, “Barton Fink,” about a writer of social realist plays whose creative juices run dry when he is called up to Hollywood to draft a script about a wrestler. The result? “Barton Fink” won the coveted Palme d’Or atthe Cannes festival by unanimous vote and awards for Best Director and Actor.

For most writers afflicted by the terrifying Block a clean sweep of Cannes’ top three awards is unlikely. So it needs to be overcome, easier said than done, right? There are some strategies for battling the Block. Tike time to write and work and write no matter what, regardless of the quality. The writing muscle needs to be exercised like any other and the more you practice the more will flow easily.

If, as commonly opined, Writer’s Block comes from a lack of inspiration or new ideas, do something unusual. Take a journey, go to the Zoo, take a drive, just leave your desk and something will spark off a fire of creativity. Alternatively, simply go somewhere and don’t write. Take a couple of days off and relax, let your mind un-clutter and return to that empty page with a clear mind. Fresh air is a great healer. When getting away from your desk don’t just move to another chair, go for a walk. Get some exercise and oxygenate your brain. Walking is one of the widest practice cures for the Block and you never know what or who you’ll see while you do it.

Whatever you do, don’t give up, or try writing about Writer’s Block, it’s already been done and done well. Don’t lose faith, if you do run out of original and creative ideas you can always join the writing team for an American sitcom instead.

About the Author

Patrick is an expert travel researcher and writer currently researching Manchester Airport Parking, Bristol Airport Parking and Glasgow Airport Parking (http://www.holidayextras.co.uk/glasgow-airport-parking.html)