Jan 25, 2010

What If's Of Writing

Look folk; there is no “What If” module you can take to guarantee success in the writing world. You can spend the rest of your life saying, what if the publishers don’t like it, or what if I can’t get an agent, or what if I get bogged down half way through my book, or what if no one ever likes my work, and it won’t get you anywhere.

But before I tell you that your going to have to decide whether to listen to all the “WHAT IF’s” or get to work, lets have a wee look at what all the “what if’s” are actually about!

At the root of all “what if’s” lies doubt and fear, and to be successful we need to face them head on to avoid procrastination.

We all have doubts and fears, they’re unavoidable, they come with the territory of starting anything new. And sometimes it’s good to be a tad realistic so you can analyze whether a goal is actually achievable or not. Yes, it’s important to think big, to aim for the stars, and if you miss at least you’ll hit the moon, but one also needs to be realistic when setting goals. For example, if you want to buy Ten Thousand Acres of land next month but you’ve only a hundred euro on the bank, it’s lightly you’ve set your sights too high and an adjustment is needed. The Ten Thousand Acres may well be a long-term goal, but you will need many intermediate ones to get there.

But, on the other hand, if the only thing stopping you from reaching your goal is doubt and fear and not some insurmountable obstacle, then you really need to get a handle on what those negative thoughts are about and learn to banish them as they arise.

Why? Because if you allow doubt and fear to continue it is inevitable that the negative influence will work its way into your subconscious and paralyze you completely. It will find it’s way into the deep recesses of your heart and poison your dreams like venom – its toxins destroying your cells and killing your dreams and hopes in the process. Fear, doubt, and negativity are toxic when it comes to achieving any goal.

As doubt and fear are such insidious, devious, poisons villains, how do we beat them? How do we get ahead of them and protect our precious goals from failing to the whispers of what if’s, doubts, and fears.

Five things you can do:

1 Just do it. Whatever it is your afraid of, just take that step and do it anyway. Whether it’s sending in that manuscript, contacting an agent, posting that query letter, starting that book, writing that article; just feel the fear and do it anyway. Yes, you might be petrified – so what! Far better to be petrified and doing something than paralyzed and doing nothing. What’s the option? Do nothing and let your dreams die. Well, I’ve more news for you; real dreams actually never die. A real dream, a dream that had seeped its way into your heart and is at home there, a lifer as I call them, that kind of dream doesn’t die. It is always there in the back of your mind, you just refuse to think about it, or admit it's still there.
And, if a real dream is left ignored, it will eat at you worse than any what if’s, fears, or doubts. Unfulfilled dreams will eat away at you like a cancer killing your spirit a little every day, until finally, there’s nothing left.
Far better to face the fear head on and just do it.

2 Replace negative with positive. Start telling yourself you can do it. Read PMT (positive mental attitude) books. Why? Because it’s attitude, not aptitude, that decides the altitude in life, so you need you get your thinking straight. And if you still can’t convince yourself you can achieve your dreams, get the help of a good friend who has faith in you, and lean on their belief in you until you own is strong enough to hold you up.

3 Associate with other successful people. Watch what they do. How they speak. How they dress. What they read. Whom they associate with. Learn what winners do. Then do what you need to do.

4 Stay vigilant. Doubt, fear, and negativity are not going to go away just because you read a PMT books or start associating with successful people. You have to continue to be vigilant, and be aware of your doubts and stop them before they get hold of you again. Doubts, like wet days will always come back, you’re not done with them just because you’ve had a few sunny weeks. But remember – there’s no such thing as a bad day, just inappropriate clothing. Likewise, with doubts, fears, and negativity, have your armor ready when they show up.

5 Hear my whisper. If you’re still saying WHAT IF you can’t do it, WHAT IF it’s no good – then hear me whisper, BUT WHAT IF YOU CAN! WHAT IF that manuscript IS the next big thing the publisher is waiting for, and you don’t even know it.

What if can be a great question, with the right attitude.

Just a thought


  1. What an inspiring post! I'm going to Ping this! Thank you, Ita!


  2. Thank you Heidi.
    Glad you liked it.
    With a smile
    Ita x