So you’ve made a decision to become a creator of literature. Awesome! Here’s some advice to help you begin your journey with the right foot forward.
Are you an author? What do you tell people when they ask you what you do? Do you proudly proclaim, “I am a writer?” Before perhaps adding under your breath, and I also work in HR (for example). Or are you embarrassed to fully embrace your new career direction. After all, you haven’t released anything yet, right? Maybe you should just say HR for now.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in having these thoughts, but is it really the best writer mindset to have when beginning your journey to being a published author? You may be belittling yourself and your writing by not mentioning it at all.
My own journey through the writer mindset jungle
This morning I got up and went for a run. Not that amazing a tale, except I haven’t really run for about four and a half years. Ever since the birth of our daughter, the second of three children.
I only recently started pushing myself again, thanks partly to my participation in a 10,000 steps a day challenge. Well, that and the repeated encouragement (aka forceful pushing) from my husband, Old Mate Media founder Chris Stead.
I had convinced myself that I couldn’t run. That it was a mountain too big to climb. It’s not what a mother does, right? That there were too many obstacles in our busy lives that would prevent me actually running on a regular basis. It was all baloney, of course, but I just about had myself convinced. Regardless, this morning I pulled on my Lycra and I ran. I ran, slowly, and with a great many stops, but I ran.
The lightbulb moment came as I went past other people on the path. To them I was just another early morning runner. I looked the part, acted the part and that was enough to make it a fact. I am a runner.
There – I said it! It’s out there and now it’s real. I have the runner mindset, just like you should have the writer mindset.
Be Confident in your Ability to Write a Book
Here is a forceful statement I want you to say yourself in moments of doubt. Take a moment, embrace yourself, and get the writer mindset. Are you ready?
Step 1: Think about your book idea. Think about how amazing it will feel to turn that idea into a product that you can hold in your hands. Something your family and friends can read. Then someone on the other side of the world you’ll never meet.
Step 2: Say to yourself in your mind “I am an author.”
Step 3: Repeat a few times to cement this.
Say it out loud. Stand tall and be proud. You are an author. Take a moment to celebrate yourself. This is an amazing skill that many people in the world don’t have.
Owning your Writer Mindset with other People
The next step is to imagine introducing yourself to people.
Step 4: Picture a conversation in your head with a new person in your life and practice responding to the question, “and what do you do?” with “I’m an author. I’m working on a children’s book right now!” (Adjusted, of course, as needed to fit your genre.)
Remember, as others see you as an author, you will have greater confidence in your own ability to fill this role. I’d also advise not starting with people that have known you for a long time. They are much more likely to challenge your statement as it doesn’t fit their perception of you. It’s much easier to start this transition with new people and then, when you are confident, to share with those that know you well.
Taking your New Found Writers Mindset to the Next Step
Fellow authors, I wish you well on your publishing journeys. As I pound the pavements, I will be thinking of you proudly proclaiming your author status to those around you. Here at Old Mate Media we take joy in helping authors just like you navigate the self-publishing forest, so please do have a look at our full list of guides, or drop us an email to discuss your book project. No matter where you are in the process, we can give you guidance and help to being a self-published author.
I would also love to hear how implementing the writer mindset process has helped your confidence. So do report back via a comment below, through social or on email – it will give me a great buzz to hear your stories. And to make sure you catch my next article, Step 2 to Becoming an Author, sign up to our newsletter.
Author, Runner and Old Mate Media Marketing Whiz