Why You Need To Write That Book
by Josh Langley
I had a young boy come up to me at the end of one of my school talks holding his drawing worksheet and declared that he’d made a mistake and needed a new one. I said that there was no such thing as a mistake when using your imagination and that he was merely doing a trial run with his first drawing. There was plenty of space left on the page to flesh out his ideas. He looked puzzled for a moment as if I was talking another language, but then I could see a light bulb go off somewhere in his mind. He smiled and walked back with the same sheet and got back to drawing.
That radical new concept allowed him to be more playful with his ideas, instead of being trapped by the fear of making a mistake.
Unfortunately, as adults, we’re stuck in the old fear mode and we’re even paralysed by it. I talk to a lot of aspiring writers and while they start out full of passion and excitement, most end up putting off their project or worse abandoning it all together. It may not be a mistake as such they’re worried about, but it’s fear of not being good enough, looking foolish, being criticised and even rejected.
However, they are the rites of passage of the creative process. We can’t avoid them, everyone goes through the same feelings at one point.
But there is a way to survive the gut wrenching anxiety that these situations can leave us feeling. It’s as simple as lightening the hell up. Don’t take all so seriously. Instead of letting it envelop you, stand back and be curious about what may happen. It’s is a learning process, it’s not life and death.
You are not going to die if you get a rejection letter from a publisher. Yes, you can have a little a cry but then submit again and again and again. Everyone gets a rejection letter at one point in their career. When I got my first rejection, I cracked a bottle of cheap bubbles because I was celebrating that fact that I was brave enough to submit.
You are brave enough too. You are brave enough to finish your manuscript. You are brave enough to submit to a publisher or agent. You are brave enough to make any changes suggested. You are brave enough to bring your incredible ideas to life. Honour your inner creative genius and let it out for the rest of the world to enjoy.
Everything about writing and getting published is about learning something new, while that can be scary, you’ll come out wiser, braver and happier for doing it.
So push through.
About the Author
Josh Langley recently won Small Publisher’s Children’s book of the Year at the ABIA Awards in Sydney. He’s also published 6 books and his new book, ‘Find Your Creative Mojo; How to overcome fear, procrastination and self doubt’ is set be released in September 2018.