Writing a book is an experience like no other. I have done a lot of things in my life, but becoming a published author takes it to a whole new level. When I wrote my doctoral dissertation, I had plenty of fear about how committee would question me, which was hard enough. But when you write a book, you put it out into the world for everyone to see. There are the nerves of having people buy your book. Everything goes through your head.
Will they like it?
Will they think it is worth it?
What if it doesn’t sell?
There is a lot of imposter syndrome throughout the whole process. Some of my biggest hangups? Someone once told me “you write like you speak.” They meant; you don’t write in a clear way. Yikes. Also, I was used to academic writing, so transitioning to a format that has less theory and more practical work was challenging.
But the hardest part of all was getting started. Trying to figure out where to start and what to say had me frozen in fear. Finally, I decided to start telling myself the story. I would use a dictation app on my phone and would dictate stories while I was driving. I eventually got to the point where it was just flowing out of me once I got it started.
The next hardest part of writing a book, believe it or not, was ending it. There is a point when you must decide you have written enough and not to keep going just to add words. If the story is done…STOP! I had to decide it was how I wanted it to be, and I could not live in the “what if” scenarios I was coming up in my head.
Finally, waiting on feedback from advance readers had me in knots. The same questions from before started bubbling up. I had to understand that was the point and to be grateful for their feedback. Their feedback was amazing. I live in this work all the time, so it helped to have objective eyes letting me know when something did not make sense.
On book launch day, You Might Be an Asshole But It Might Not Be Your Fault became an Amazon bestseller. I cried tears of joy. It was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to do it again!
Dr. Katie Ervin is the founder and CEO of Catalyst Development. She has contributed to Brainz Magazine and the Forbes Business Council. She is currently writing her first book.