Balboa Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. As a speaker and author of The Dolphin’s Dance: A 5-Step Journey into Conscious Awareness, Micheline shares her successful model for living a more conscious and present life, helping others find inner peace, happiness, and purpose. Nader is an award-winning CEO and healthcare entrepreneur, and expert in the fields of wellness and personal transformation. Find her at www.MichelineNader.com or on Facebook and Twitter.Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information on self-publishing your book with Balboa Press.
According to recent surveys shared at the Book Expo of America, around 90% of Americans would like to write a book yet very few get to, despite the convenience of self publishing. Why is this?
Before publishing my book, I had talked about writing one for years. As a matter of fact, I wrote two full notebooks on two different topics, plenty of digital notes, then I destroyed every thing because I thought they were not worth publishing. What a waste.
Self-publishing has made the process of publishing a book accessible to anyone with some content. Of course, that’s not the end of the work – getting people to buy your book is the other half the equation.
The Fear of not being Good Enough
The number one reason for most of us to get discouraged is this negative little voice telling us “I can’t do it,” “I am not capable enough to write a book,” “no one would want to read my story,” “I have nothing intelligent to say,” “my story has been told before”… so on and so forth.
It was the same for me. My fear of not being good enough prevented me from publishing earlier in my life. English is not my first language and I have never taken a writing course in my life. But there were enough experiences inside of me that finally, I leaped.
When I attended the Hay House writer’s workshop, author Nancy Levin was telling her story of how she destroyed all her poems because she thought they were not good enough. It helped me see that I was not alone. I made the decision right then and there to publish through Balboa, a division of Hay House.
Are you like me, feeling that you have a message or a story within you waiting to be told yet your little negative inner voice is preventing you from telling it? If so, it is time to jump. All you have to do is acknowledge this little voice, thank it and move forward with your writing journey knowing that all of us are in the same boat. You can tell your little voice that you will deal with it later. Your intention is to enjoy the journey.
The Fear of Writing
Many of you have heard horror stories about how difficult it is to write a book. Don’t believe all that you hear: it was my first book with no prior experience in professional writing, editing or publishing, particularly not in English. And yet my editor completed editing my 400 pages in 4 days, and I had the time of my life during the process. How was that possible?
Once I asked my little voice to be quiet during my writing, I stopped judging what I wrote and forgot about the reader, the editor and the publisher. I started writing for myself. I went on a journey of creativity and self-indulgence. I abandoned all my thoughts and relished in the pleasures of expressing whatever came to my mind. I stopped caring about the “how” and immersed myself in the creativity of the moment and what needed to flow through me. I gave myself a “carte blanche” of originality and inspiration.
Whenever this fear of writing emerged, I stopped, recognized it, thanked it and continued to write any way. Even when I wrote the most nonsense paragraph or page, I decided to continue writing every day. It did not have to be more than fifteen minutes but I got into the habit of opening my word document and writing in it daily. More often than not I surprised myself writing for long hours when I intended to spend only a few minutes; I enjoyed unleashing my self-expression. I can safely say that I had the time of my life when my creative juices started flowing as if I was dancing with something I had forever longed for …
I also realized that editing was a different beast. I edited my content at different times, when I was listening to music or having downtime watching a mindless movie. But I did not edit as I wrote — they were very different mindsets.
Based on the many stories I see on my social media pages, I realize we are all sharing personal stories, opinions, thoughts and much more. We are all writing and not afraid of it. It simply takes the same skill to write a book. So, change your mindset and have fun with it!
The Fear of Being Vulnerable
Most people – even those of us who have a compelling story to tell – are afraid to tell it because of the fear of being vulnerable and being judged by others. Did I experience this fear? You bet I did…
Actually after my book was ready to be downloaded on my publisher’s site, I sat on it for three months. I called for another focus group to test the Dolphin’s Dance process. I ordered another copyedit from the publisher. What was I doing? I was simply stalling. I was afraid that friends would judge me for not sharing my experiences with them, that cognitive psychologists would criticize my program, that my professional community would look at me differently and that my family would be critical of my personal stories.
The truth is when my book was out in the world, I felt a sense of relief that I never felt before. I became an open book myself with nothing to hide – a sense of newness, a new beginning. People, even strangers, started relating to me as their friend because they knew me through my writings. A lovely new chapter of my life had started.
Whether you are writing a novel, non-fiction, children’s book, cookbook or self-help, you will expose who you are – your experiences, thoughts and opinions will come through but remember one thing: your message or personal story can help people truly change their lives.
Getting over these three fears will definitely help you leap into writing and publishing. Through my book and workshops, I can tell you that there’s no better feeling in my life than knowing I have helped someone else by sharing my experience. When I read their testimonies, look at their face change during my presentations, watch them grow and get over the limitations of their thoughts and behavioral patterns, encourage them to change their life, I realize that in the absence of writing my book, this would not have happened. Expressing my purpose in life would have ended with me. I would have died without singing my song. Like the nightmare that wakes me up in the middle of the night unable to scream, I would have expired with my voice unheard. The Dolphin’s Dance is proof that I have transformed these limiting fears that held me back from publishing before.
Like me, no matter what your story is, it’s time to share it, you never know whom it is going to help! Your song matters and the world need to hear it!
Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BalboaPress, by tweeting us @BalboaPress, or by emailing email@example.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.