Writing and The Inner Critic: Why do you really want to write that book?

I had a lovely conversation recently with one of my Women Of Wisdom (#WOWFactor) who has been published in several compilation books and is now in the process of writing her own wonderful book about her particular area of passion and an area she has been working in for decades.

She was having doubts about her writing, which is so very normal for authors as they move from being aspiring authors to being published, but it’s not as common for authors who have already been published.

For many aspiring authors there’s a lot of internal chatter about worth:

  • who do I think I am,
  • who am I to write a book,
  • who is going to want to read anything I write,
  • hasn’t someone already written about this,
  • and haven’t they written it better than I ever could,
  • what sort of a difference could I possibly make,
  • what right do I have to call myself an author,
  • and on and on it goes.

The internal chatter can get quite brutal and it’s relentless. It’s no wonder that so many writers take their stories to their grave, and give up on pursuing their dreams of being published.

By the time an author has crossed that threshold and has been published, however, the internal chatter is usually quieter, not quite so debilitating, and a little less persistent, which is such a relief.

What came up for this author recently was a thought that is probably more debilitating to women in an older age bracket – our women of wisdom: You’re only doing this to make yourself feel better, and to prove that you really do have something to offer.

As soon as I heard this I recognised an underlying doubt that many women in her age bracket carry, and I thought, well done, Inner Critic, you’ve tapped into yet another fear that many women of wisdom experience on several levels, and secretly carry with them day in and day out: the fear that they are being selfish, or self-centred or only thinking of themselves if they step into the light.

This is a huge thing for our women of wisdom who have been raised to believe that good girls are altruistic, give selflessly and put everyone else first.  They never take centre stage and they certainly never take the light away from someone else who would undoubtedly be more worthy.  That would be shameful.

They’ve been taught that talking to people about what they know and what they are good at is bragging and makes them a show-off or an attention-seeker.

As are result of this programming, I think there is a part of every woman of wisdom who is hungry for recognition, but not just to stroke their egos as their inner critics might have them believe. 

I believe they are hungry for recognition so they can know for themselves that they have something of value to offer the world, that they can help people by sharing what they know, and that they are worthy of a little recognition.

So organising what one knows into a book that helps others becomes a wonderful opportunity for that author to not only help someone else, but to help herself. 

What a BONUS!! This is a reason to keep writing.  It’s not a reason to stop.

If it helps her to see what she has achieved, what knowledge she has accumulated and what wisdom she has to share, and she can see for herself that she has real value, I think that’s a great outcome!! Well worth her investment of time and energy.

It’s perfectly ok to admit if one of your reasons for writing your book is deeply personal and self-satisfying. Give yourself permission to receive all the benefits that come with publishing a book. Not just the altruistic ones.

And if you want help to write and publish your book, join us in the Authorpreneur’s Bootcamp. We’d love to help you achieve your writing goals.

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