Commitment is Sustained by Confidence

It took Audrey Niffenegger 4 years to write The Time Traveller’s Wife, JK Rowling 6 years to write Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and Margaret Mitchell a full decade to write Gone With The Wind.

And what do these three books have in common? They are the first books that each of these authors published.

Do you think that maybe these not-yet-published authors’ confidence waned a time or twenty-two over those years that they were writing and rewriting their break-out novels? You know it did!

Will your confidence evade you from time-to-time as you get your story onto the page? Of course it will!

Now, I have no idea how those three authors managed to keep going when this dream of becoming a published author felt like it was too much, too big, too crazy, but I know exactly what kept me going and what’s helped almost every writer and published author I know:

Validation through reader feedback.

Not just any reader, though. A reader, or a handful, who love to read in the genre you’re writing and who have at least an inkling of what it takes to write a book.

It would be 100% counter-productive to share the still fragile, new world of your science fiction manuscript with a reader who doesn’t both love and understand the genre. And, it would be equally frustrating to share your draft with a person who doesn’t appreciate how many revisions an author will make before her manuscript becomes a book.

If you’re a member of a writing community, I’d expect you have access to at least one person who fits the bill. If not, then make it your priority to find such a group or person. And then, once you have, you can share this handy-dandy workbook of writer’s contest questions with that person and “enter your manuscript” into its first confidence-building contest.

Why use a contest model? The reality is that most readers don’t know how to give truly constructive feedback and this tool helps them do just that, which in turn helps you see specifically where your reader struggled or saw a need for an edit and where your writing is sparkling!

Download the workbook, Enter Your Manuscript Into Your Own, Personal Writer’s Contest.

Of course, you can use this workbook to do your own confidence-building, self-evaluation, as long as you have the power to shush your inner critic while you’re “judging” your contest entry.

That’s all for this mini-course in commitment-building. I hope you enjoyed it and that you’ve increased your clarity, created some accountability and bolstered your confidence through these exercises.


Get lots more motivational tips to help you finish your book in my new book,
Scrappy Rough Draft: Use science to strategically motivate yourself & finish writing your book