Either you don’t realize it, or somewhere deep down, you know it but simply refuse to admit it: the underlying reason behind all of your excuses for not having begun writing your book yet is that four-letter word called “fear.” Read on to understand how fear has stifled your dreams of becoming an author and what to do to give fear the boot this year!


Fear 6: I’m afraid of becoming a successful author.


I’m sure that you’ve heard of people having a fear of failure. However, have you ever heard of people having a fear of success? Yep. That’s a real thing, and it can be just as paralyzing as a fear of failure. A fear of success is often grounded in the belief that if the book you write strikes gold, you might not be able to handle the success.


What do aspiring authors fear about success?

Success can come along with things like an undesirable level of public attention. You could end up flying so high on the radar that people begin paying attention to – and scrutinizing – your every move. Believe it or not, developing too visible of a public profile can be a real source of fear and anxiety for some people.


Another thing that can accompany success is not knowing whether people want to connect with you because of who you are or because of your success. Additionally, there’s the fear of squandering the money that you make from the book. You could become a laughing stock among your family, friends and associates. They might mock you because of your lack of financial maturity and inability to properly handle your new-found success.


Over the years, however, I’ve discovered that one of the biggest fears associated with success among aspiring authors. They fear that their first book will be so successful that they’ll not be able to follow it up with an equally-successful second book. In their mind, this will make people think that they’re a one-shot wonder rather than a genuinely talented author.


If this happens to you, are you strong and mature enough to handle this level of exposure? What if you blow it with everyone in the world watching you? In this one question lay a key source of fear for so many aspiring authors.


Embrace the potential of success instead of being paralyzed by it!

The thought of experiencing such a visible, public failure is paralyzing. The mere idea of being a rising star that falls to the ground with a splat for all to see and laugh at is mortifying. Whether you realize it or not, having thoughts of these scenarios playing in your subconscious could be keeping you from completing your writing project. My advice: focus your energies elsewhere.


Come on! You’re writing a book so that it can achieve some level of success, so actually experiencing this success is far from the worst of things that could happen to you! Also, to help ease your fear of success, surround yourself with a group of people whom you trust. These should be people who know you well and will help keep you encouraged, motivated and grounded in the midst of any success that you might experience. Let them know of your fears and concerns and ask them to be there for you as you pursue a level of success that scares you!


(Interested in reading more? Check out the next post in this blog series!)

Need help bringing that writing project to completion? Geniuscribes can help! We specialize in 23rd hour timelines, resurrecting dead books and research, and renewing your hopes of getting your dream book or dissertation done. Let’s work together and get you done, already! Visit geniuscribes.com to get started.


Shannon Williams, Ph.D., is the Founder and Chief Executive Nerd of Geniuscribes, Nerds with Pens. For more than a decade, she has helped doctoral students complete their dissertations and aspiring writers complete their books. She is a nerdy, fun-loving, dog-obsessed foodie who loves Jesus, unpretentious people, sunshine, and coffee. She is a die-hard Houstonian and Texas Longhorn living in Atlanta, where Chick-Fil-A sells collard greens and macaroni, and the tea is as sweet as the people, much to her delight. You can reach her through her team at support@geniuscribes.com if you like. Or not. Whatever butters your biscuit! Oh yeah… she loves those, too.

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