Episode 204 – The One About Fear

FearWriting a book, like doing pretty much anything that matters, involves a quantity of fear. Many people let it stop them, and instead spend their time and attention on the stuff that keeps them feeling safe.

But not you, my friend.

In this very personal episode I talk about what I’ve learned about fear when it comes to writing a book (or indeed, as noted, pretty much anything that matters). I also share some of the insights from others I’ve found most helpful.

Warning: may cause discomfort, curiosity, and action.


Joanna Penn’s episode: http://extraordinarybusinessbooks.com/episode-23-the-author-mindset-with-joanna-penn/

Alison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bookstothesky

Alison on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bookstothesky_/

The Extraordinary Business Book Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447064765612358/

This Book Means Business – the mentorship programme: https://alisonjones.lpages.co/this-book-means-business-mentorship/

The 10-day Business Book Proposal Challenge wait list: https://alisonjones.leadpages.co/proposal-challenge/

‘A Note on Fear’ from This Book Means Business by Alison Jones:

If you’re reading this book, you probably haven’t actually written your book yet.

And, if you’re anything like me, it’s because when you sit down to write the book of your business – the book that articulates the message you most care about to the people you most want to reach – the blankness of the page, the significance of the task and the fear of messing it up stops you dead. I spent nearly two years failing to write this book – and I’ve written five others before in a fraction of that time for other people and purposes.

The fear around writing a book is so vast and multifaceted that it merits a whole book in its own right: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of visibility, fear of not being good enough or original enough, fear of criticism or ridicule, fear of committing to one idea. Often the fear operates incognito: it disguises itself as procrastination or perfectionism and, while we beat ourselves up for not getting the job done, fear congratulates itself on keeping us safe by keeping us small.

As with anything in life, it all starts with a decision: the decision to dare.

Most people simply don’t dare start a business – you’ve already done that.

'Most people don’t dare write a book – but you’re not most people.' A Note on Fear from The Extraordinary Business Book Club Click To Tweet

I can’t take away the fear, and I’m not sure I’d want to (it serves a useful purpose), but what I have tried to do in this book is give you tools to manage it. It’s reassuring to discover that every author is fearful, and helpful to discover how they went ahead and wrote the book anyway. And when you take the approach I set out here it inoculates you against fear one tiny bite at a time – one blog post, one talk, one conversation – rather than saving it all up for launch time.

‘Fear is excitement without breath,’ said business journalist Robert Heller.  So breathe, as deeply and as often as necessary, and keep reading.

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