Coach Marla Beck

Doubting Your Book-in- Progress?

by Marla Beck

in Uncategorized

A few weeks ago, my family and I were driving on a country road, fifty miles off the  interstate in eastern South Dakota.  The sun was dancing late-day, golden light across the prairie.  We drove and drove, covering many miles without seeing a tree or farm or town.  Outside, the landscape was monotonous, vast and serene.

Despite the beauty and novelty of the prairie, inside the car, my heart was beating fast.  I was quietly freaking out.

You see, it’d been a day-long drive across the width of South Dakota, and the sole purpose of going so far east — in fact, the kernel of inspiration for the entire three-week road trip, was to visit a modest attraction:  the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead, in De Smet, South Dakota.  (My daughter is a big fan of the Little House on the Prairie books.)

“Who comes all this way?”  I panicked.  “Seems like there’s no one here.”

I calmed my thoughts, using the same simple technique I teach my clients.  Then, new doubts and fears popped up, armed with different questions:

“Is this whole trip a big mistake?  Will my kiddo be disappointed?”

If you write or create or dare to live a bold life, I have no doubt that, at some point in your journey, you’ve experienced some of the same feelings I did that evening:  vivid doubts and fears.

Writing a book, and staying with a manuscript until it’s complete, takes tremendous stamina, clarity and courage.  If you’re human (and I know you are), it’s likely that you’ll falter and stumble along the way.

Please remember that no one is 100% clear, all the time.  No one is 100% courageous, either.

It’s okay to have doubts, but when they pop up, it’s NOT okay to:

  • ignore them,

  • assume they’ll go away, or

  • allow them to drag you away from your writing altogether.

In the case of my trip, I was lucky.  I can diagnose and treat mindset ruptures quickly and efficiently. Also, “forward momentum” was a given.  We had a hotel reservation waiting for us, and my kid was planning on spending the next two days at the Wilder Homestead, no matter what.  Because I had an antidote to fear plus forward momentum, my fears didn’t have a chance to reroute (or hijack) our itinerary: we were going, whether I was wholly confident in our plans or not.

When you are trying to complete a book though, YOU ALONE are responsible for staying on the journey and staying the course to “done.”

How do you stay the course, when things get rough?

  • Do you have a highly effective process to manage your writing fears and doubts when they arise?

  • What’s creating forward momentum for your project?  Are you constantly moving towards your book’s endpoint?  Your personal destination?  Or are you allowing doubts and moments of anxiety to sidetrack your progress?

My family and I emerged from that lonely, fifty-mile drive excited to see the small town of De Smet.  When we arrived at the Homestead the next morning, we met other families with young daughters dressed up as pioneer girls, just like my child.

I need not have doubted our journey.

You need not doubt yours, as well.

Write that book.  Finish it.

If you need help creating the time, confidence and momentum you need, so you can finish your book in as little as 60 days, contact me here for help:

I’m rooting for you.

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