In 2017, I published my book, Powerhouse Woman. I was a first-time author and an unlikely one at that. Although I had had a health and fitness blog for three years, I only published an average of one new blog article per year! You read that correctly. I had exactly three articles on my blog, and I’m pretty certain my mom was the only person who actually read them (Thanks, Mom!). Saying I didn’t consider myself a writer is an understatement.
Despite the odds, I did write and publish a well-received book. I can also say with confidence that writing a book was one of the best experiences of my adult life. However, when I look back at the journey to becoming a published, best-selling author, there are a few things I wish someone had told me before I started.
Your book may never feel “finished.”
When I finished writing the first draft of my manuscript, I wrestled with an unsettling feeling that it wasn’t quite finished. No matter how many edits I made, I found new sections of the book that I wanted to improve. The feeling that the book wasn’t perfect or “finished” almost kept me from publishing it altogether.
Here is what I know now: writing a book is a giant personal growth journey. The book I would write today would be different from the one I wrote last year. And that is okay. I think it’s actually quite normal. When you undergo any kind of growth, your thoughts and ideas will naturally grow and evolve as you do. At some point, you must allow the book to be finished and then publish it for the world to read in order to clear space in your mind for new content to come through (your next book!).
You will probably want to quit at some point.
I’ve been there! Wanting to quit and not finish your book could show up in a variety of ways. For me, the biggest roadblocks were carving out uninterrupted time to write, battling through writer’s block, feeling insecure about what others might think of the book (or me), and fearing deeply that other people were already writing about these same topics and were doing a much better job. If you’ve felt any of these things, you are not alone.
Deciding to write a book (or stepping out of your comfort zone for any reason) is an invitation for resistance to show up. Resistance isn’t a bad thing; it just means you have an opportunity to grow. When you find yourself in the grip of resistance (doubts, fears, excuses), quitting will seem like a perfectly logical and valid choice.
My best advice for anyone wrestling with resistance is to remember that your book and your message are not actually about YOU. They are 100% about who you are going to serve.
When I took the focus off myself and, instead, thought about the women that I truly wanted to impact with my message, this focus helped me move through my resistance. You, too, will want to move through any resistance you’re experiencing as quickly as possible because your biggest breakthroughs are typically waiting for you on the other side of your reasons to quit.
The blessings will far outweigh any obstacles.
No matter how much discomfort I had to work through to finish and publish my book, I would do it all again in a heartbeat, knowing now all the blessings waiting for me and my readers on the other side. In fact, the benefits I’ve experienced as a direct result of publishing my book have been incredible—everything from being invited to speak at events, to hosting my own Powerhouse Women’s Event, to becoming an ambassador for Lululemon (my favorite apparel company), and recently at a fitness conference, being named “FitPreneur of the Year.” I had NO idea that publishing a book would open up this many new opportunities for me.
If you have the slightest feeling that your message is meant to be shared in a book, do it! You may just surprise yourself with what you’re capable of. And I can guarantee you’ll positively impact a lot of other people in the process.
Lindsey Schwartz is the author of Powerhouse Woman: How to Get Out of Your Own Way, Fulfill Your Unique Purpose, and Live a Powerful Life. You can listen here to Lindsey say a bit more about her journey as an author. Connect with Lindsey on social media at Instagram.com/lovelindsfit or facebook.com/lindseymarieschwartz