If this is a new project for you, perhaps you have not. What is holding you back? Most likely, fear. Fear of failure. Fear that friends will be unsupportive … maybe they will even laugh. Fear that you will be held accountable … by them and yourself.
I didn’t tell anyone outside of my immediate family that I had started writing a book. I was worried for all of the reasons above. I went along this way for many months as I pecked out my first chapters. But once I reached the point that I was confident that I would see it through to the end, I began sharing my dream … one-by-one.
Once I began talking, I discovered so many benefits.
Telling the first person was the scariest. But my friend was encouraging, and she told me I deserved to do something for myself and have a creative outlet.
A while later I told my sister. She too thought it was a great idea, but she was truly shocked when I handed her the first draft just a few weeks later. She devoured it in a weekend. She was my first reader and gave me the positive feedback I needed to move on. (How had I forgotten she had been Literary Agent’s assistant many years before. Yes, she was biased, but she had some experience.)
Another month later, I announced I was writing to my book club. Now I not only had a roomful of supporters, but I had a handful of beta readers anxious to read another draft. And better yet, one reconnected me with a mutual friend who was also writing. That person has become my number one beta reader as we move forward in our new careers together.
The trend continued. It got easier and easier to open up. Each time, I gained something. Perhaps it was just more support. Often it was another reviewer. And several times I got an important contact in the industry. And maybe most importantly, I began to feel like an author.
Only when my book was nearly agent-ready was I ready to announce on Facebook and in my annual Holiday Letter that I had written a book. It felt akin to announcing I was pregnant in the scary early days where so much can still go wrong. Will I get an agent? Will it get published? Will it sell? These questions are still unanswered. But now that I have shared my dream, I have become accountable to them (and myself) which will help carry me through the challenging road ahead.
I encourage you to open up about your writing. It is one step forward on the path to achieving your dream.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you found it helpful.