We all tell ourselves a story, and it has nothing to do with the book we’re writing or the book we want to write. Our story is about us. It’s the story you tell yourself about who you want to be, who you are, or who you think you are, and a good chunk of the time that story is full of limitations that are holding you back.
I hear these stories quite a bit. I hear them from writers and I also hear them from friends and family. The problem with the stories that writers tell themselves is that because writers are storytellers by trade they are incredibly good with creating believable stories.
The stories we tell ourselves can come from anywhere. They can come from our own fear of success, hearing repeatedly from friends and family that the genre fiction we love to write isn’t a “real” book, or growing up and being told that wanting to be a writer is too hard and we need a “real” career (that word comes up a lot).
For success to truly happen we all (me included) need to learn to identify the limiting stories we’re telling ourselves and break free from them. We need to sit down and put pen to paper and really analyze the stories we tell ourselves. If you want to be a NY Times bestseller what’s stopping you? My guess is somewhere, deep down, you have a belief that you can’t. That somewhere, deep down, you keep telling yourself a story that limits your potential. Maybe you can’t write paranormal, or two books at once, or you’re unable to write the mystery of your heart because you’re really a romance writer. Who says?
Once you identify those stories that are holding you back it’s up to you, and only you, to rewrite them. I know you can do it because you’ve done a million rewrites in your lifetime. What’s one more? There is no one telling Nora Roberts, Stephen King, or even J.K. Rowling they aren’t writing “real” books. So what makes your book different? There are plenty of authors out there making a career of writing. Some might be supplementing their novels with articles or even press releases, but they’re writing.
As much time and effort as you put into strengthening and revising your book, you need to put into strengthening and revising your own story. If you want success, revisions are necessary, in life and in writing.