When you say the words, “I’m writing a book,” be ready for a wide spectrum of responses.
Ideally, most of your feedback is positive and encourages you to finish the book strong. Knowing that people support your vision, or are ready to buy your book when it’s live, can empower you during tough moments—like when you’re learning how to edit a book for the first time.
However, the odds of you only receiving positive feedback is too good to be true.
Because without fail, you’re absolutely going to get your fair share of people who question you and doubt your endeavor to write a book.
If this hate comes from a stranger or social media troll, then you can probably shake it off without much harm. After all, they don’t know you so you don’t care much for their opinion.
But, often this lack of support comes from your family, a significant other, or close friends, and this truly stings. You feel that those who you should support you the most are the least understanding.
And I’m on your side, they should support you. But because they’re insecure, they don’t get it, or for some other reason, they’re pessimistic about your goal to write a book.
Although this is unfortunate, it’s out of your control.
What you can control is how you’re going to be prepared for negativity when you say, “I’m writing a book,” because I guarantee it will come from somewhere. And you can also control how you’re going to overcome it to become an author.
Prepare For Rejection Now
It’s going to hurt much worse if you’re blindsided by rejection after telling someone you’re writing a book. Your emotions will be caught off guard and you will feel vulnerable.
On the other hand, when you’re prepared for rejection, it lessens the blow.
So the best solution is to keep in mind that you may hear negativity, or expect it, when you tell people you’re going to be an author.
And this perspective will also help you when you publish your book. Realize that some people you know, or random Amazon reviewers, are not going to like your book. This is certain to happen.
Maybe they don’t like the book subject, don’t think you’re a good writer, or they’re having a bad day. Whatever the reason, they’re going to judge your book and you. While that’s their choice, you have the power to choose to ignore it.
And building thick skin is a good practice for life, because I’ve found that anytime you create something there are going to be a fair share of haters.
For example, look at any famous musical artist (Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Justin Bieber), and you’ll see a host of both fans and naysayers behind them.
It comes with the territory of putting yourself into a piece of work, in this case your book.
When you’re prepared for rejection in the writing process, you can move on to finishing what you started. And when you’re ready for negativity after it’s published, you won’t take the criticism as a reflection of you, but a reflection of them.
How To Handle Negativity
Even if you’re prepared for negative responses, the most important element is how you personally respond to these opinions.
If you don’t assess the comment because you think burying your emotions inside is the best option, your emotions don’t go away like that. They’re going to come out of you in some fashion in the future, and probably in an unhealthy way.
You don’t want to turn bitter and cynical about life because of it.
Instead, you’re going to find it beneficial to address the criticism head on. Here are the steps I take that work for me.
Step 1: I take an unbiased view at the criticism and ask myself questions: Did what they say have merit? Is their critique true? Do I have some formatting errors? Will listening to them improve my book and my ability as an author? If their opinion is accurate and helpful, then I implement what they said and thank them.
Step 2: If what they said provides no constructive criticism and is only hurtful, then I dismiss it as their jealousy or insecurity and move on. I also stop passing along information about my book to them, because they’ve lost this access now and I don’t want to continue to deal with their negativity. Too much pessimism when you’re already out of your comfort zone can stop you from finishing, and you don’t want that.
Step 3: Now that you’ve addressed your emotions, your mind is free to refocus on the task at hand—getting your book written and then published. Since this process can take time, it’s key that you give yourself some grace, stay positive, and continue to write each day.
Choose Your Happiness
As much as you want those around you to be proud of your effort and courage to write a book, first and foremost is that you choose your happiness. If your goal is to become an author, don’t let a little shade stop you.
I realize writing a book for the first time can be a steep learning curve: Trust me, I went through it myself and struggled at many points when writing my first book.
But the fact that it’s challenging is the whole point. You push yourself and overcome challenges throughout the writing process. And when you figure out how to self publish a book, you come out the other side stronger and more satisfied because of it.
Not to mention you now own the title of author and no one can take that away from you.
Write Another Book
After you publish your first book, the best way to build confidence is to write another one.
Because the more experience you have being vulnerable by putting your work out there for criticism, the less the negativity will bother you.
Plus, if you only have one book under your belt and it isn’t received well, it’s easier to accept this as a personal attack because this is your only book.
But when you have a few published books with your name on them, you have more work to show for yourself. And most likely some positive reviews and words of encouragement to support you.
My final words are to enjoy becoming an author. And keep going when people throw criticism or doubt in your way. The only reason they do this is because you have something they wish they had.
What are your experiences like when you say, “I’m writing a book”? If you’re already an author, how do you respond to unsupportive people?