13 Writers’ Fears and How to Solve Them

Publishing a book is serious business. Many factors are at play, and almost all independent authors experience worries and doubts that quickly turn into anxiety and fear.

Chances are you identify with one or more of the writer’s fears we’ll explain below.

  1. Fear of showing your book

 It is the most common fear of all. This fear arises when the author hires publishing services, such as proofreading or layout.

What happens is that many authors are so jealous of their work that they do not want to show what they have written before publishing it. They are afraid that someone will steal it and register it in their name or upload it to the Internet without their permission. But to budget properly, you have to see the material, yes or yes. What a paradox, isn’t it?

If you identify with this fear, you might want to know something important: when someone quotes you for a custom desktop publishing service without seeing your text, that person is blatantly lying to you.

Solution: The solution to the fear of showing your book is the easiest of all. It’s called the Law on the Protection of Personal Data and Guarantee of Digital Rights.

This legal framework protects you from misconduct by publishers.

Two actions will help you overcome this fear for good: first, register the intellectual property of your work; second, seek opinions and testimonials about the publisher you are about to hire.

  1. Fear of spending on self-publishing services

 The cause of this fear is that serious self-publishing publishers always demand a part of the payment in advance to ensure that our collaborators (graphic designers, proofreaders, community managers, etc.) receive what they are entitled to.

Solution: The solution to your fear of spending on desktop publishing services is the “confidentiality contract.”

This contract includes the reason why you are sending us your book. For example, if it is for proofreading, it is in writing, and if we do not fulfill our obligations, you will have solid proof that we have committed to doing the job.

  1. Fear of plagiarism

 No one has the right to copy any part of your work, neither the ideas it contains nor the text itself.

One of the most common fears among freelance writers is the fear of plagiarism, but it is also the most unfounded.

Solution: Be realistic. It is unlikely that you will be plagiarized. The vast majority of writers in the world never face this problem.

Being afraid of plagiarism is like being afraid of being struck by lightning or hit by a car. You can’t live with that paranoia. Take care of your book and relax.

  1. Fear of sales failure

This type of negative thinking is more common than it seems. “What if I don’t sell a single book?” many authors ask themselves in terror.

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The fear of sales failure has a clear rationale: a book is an investment, and no one wants to lose what they invest.

Publishing takes time; no one writes a book overnight. The process is long and sometimes requires a certain amount of money if you hire someone to help you.

Solution: Are you afraid your book won’t sell? Then make an effort to make a good book and effective marketing. Those are two pillars of publishing success.

  1. Fear that readers will not like your book.

It is another fear with little foundation. You can’t think of “readers” in general. All books are aimed at a particular audience, an ideal reader who is virtually willing to buy a specific type of literary work.

Solution: Focus on discovering your ideal reader and write with their interests, tastes, and needs in mind.

Don’t pretend that everyone will like your book; that’s unrealistic. If Don Quixote or The Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy or In Search of Lost Time are books that not everyone likes, why do you think yours will be the exception?

  1. Fear of bankruptcy of the publishing house where you have published your book

It is quite a reasonable fear because it responds to the harshest reality. The business world tends to be volatile, and some companies disappear from the map without warning.

When the publishing house where you publish your book goes out of business, all its commitments are automatically canceled. Perhaps you have already paid them for help and advice in publishing your book on Amazon, and, just before publishing, the publisher closes its doors and suspends its activities forever.

It’s a serious matter. The factors in a publisher’s bankruptcy can be many, sometimes fraudulent. This should not surprise you because, as in all areas of commerce, publishing scams also exist.

Solution: Choose a reliable publishing house. So that account from where you publish your book and manage the payments and other aspects of the sales is and will always be 100% yours, and no one else but you has total control over it.

  1. Fear of repeating yourself

Some authors cultivate a tone, a way of writing a book, a repertoire of themes and characters that they perfect over time. But sometimes this regularity often causes them annoyance and, even if their books sell very well, they feel the need for a radical change in their literary work.

Solution: The solutions to this problem are two. You can either undertake the change you claim for yourself and reformulate all your work as an author or you can accept yourself and carry on as before.

Do you think Lewis Hamilton, 7 times Formula-1 world champion, is afraid of always taking curves the same way? He knows he has been championing that recipe and has no qualms about repeating it thousands of times.

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  1. Fear of not being able to maintain the level

This is the opposite of the previous case. You are doing well with your books, and you think it is pure luck.

Solution: Leave nothing to chance. Make sure that everything that depends on you is calculated and planned, especially the deadlines for the different stages of the work, for example: writing in summer, editing in autumn, and publishing in winter.

  1. Fear of missing deadlines

 This fear is often accompanied by a prevalent vice in today’s society: procrastination. Procrastination is putting off until tomorrow what you can do today. With this work policy, it is straightforward to get into a “bottleneck”, time is running out, and there is still a lot to do.

Solution: Hurry up, but think that writing and publishing a book is not as easy as painting a wall, to give a practical example. In editing a book, it is sometimes difficult to calculate deadlines; it is not mechanical work but something more complex.

Write, read and recalculate. Let your text rest for as long as you think necessary and take it up again without prejudice. Good books, like good wines, require maturation.

  1. Fear of writer’s block

Writer’s block is a subject that could be the subject of hundreds of articles. This fear is similar to the fear of missing deadlines, but the main difference is that you can’t even begin to write when you have writer’s block.

Solution: Each writer is unique, and the key to writer’s block is not always the same for everyone. One alternative is to take a break (if possible) for a few days or weeks. You can also look for stimuli or sources of inspiration such as music to help you concentrate or books or videos that allow you to expand your vision of your work.

If this does not work, try changing your workplace, you can go to a library, a park, the beach, or wherever you can concentrate and move forward with your book.

  1. Fear of not measuring up to other writers.

 You probably invent wonderful stories or are the best in your area of expertise, but you struggle to write, syntax gives you headaches, and spelling is not your strong suit.

Just as some people are tactical geniuses at soccer but can’t play the game very well, some writers conceive fascinating ideas and stories but struggle to write them.

Solution: Find a ghostwriter to help you overcome your weaknesses. Ghostwriters are professional writers specializing in capturing what other people want to say and capturing it in text. You can find them at the writing community or the paper writing service. Seeking help from a ghostwriter is much more common than you might think. Even established authors do it.

  1. Fear of the worst-case scenario
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 This is not a single fear. It is the sum of all the above concerns co-occurring. The chances of absolutely everything going wrong are minimal, but they do exist. No one is exempt from bad luck, but there is always a remedy for it.

Solution: Create a contingency plan. With this example, you will understand it better: imagine you are part of the security staff of a president. Extreme, isn’t it? Well, let me tell you that in that case, you will be trained for the worst-case scenario: kidnapping attempts, chases, etc.

There is a protocol to follow for all those life and death cases. Something thought out well in advance to minimize the damage received.

Obviously, the failure of a book is much less dramatic, but you have to have strategies to rebound as soon as you see the first signs of trouble. Try to get good reviews on Amazon, keep the editable files of your book so you can correct any errors you detect after publishing, devise a “plan B” to disseminate your work on social networks, etc.

  1. Fear of repeating past mistakes

 Some indie authors have already published one or more books but never managed to get sales off the ground—what a problem.

The bad experience leads to frustration and fear of failing again. Then they give up literature, sometimes forever.

Don’t let yourself fall! Bad experiences give you a formidable lesson in what not to do again to succeed as a freelance writer.

Solution: Live in the present and think about the future. What do we mean by this? For example, if you have published your book in print with a traditional publisher in your city and you couldn’t sell a single copy or sold just a handful, why don’t you try publishing the same book in the ebook?

Another excellent option that will allow you to forget the failures of the past is the audiobook, your book read by a professional speaker. This is the fastest-growing format in recent times, and everything indicates that sales will continue to grow steadily.

Writers’ fears: don’t get paralyzed.

 If your dream is to publish, if you’ve written a book and want to share it with the world, go ahead! Plans can’t wait.

We know that some companies in our industry don’t work with the professionalism we try to work with, which logically increases your writing fears.

If you want to lose your writer’s fears, a good strategy is to research the reputation of the self-publishing publisher you choose to publish with. Nowadays, Google has reassuring answers for every need.

And don’t rest on your laurels! Overcoming your writing fears is a giant step in your literary career but don’t neglect the quality of your work. All actions are necessary and require time and effort. Don’t be discouraged; count on us always.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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