How To Combat Writing Anxiety
Welcome to the 3rd episode of Season 2 of the Page Up podcast. In this episode, Dr. Angela will guide you through the tools needed to show up for yourself and to get rid of your self doubt when it comes to writing a book.
Listen To The Show:
Podcast: Download (18:54, 27.2MB)
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In this episode you will learn:
- 0:56 -Can you prepare for self doubt?
- 2:05 -Self Doubt, is it a good thing?
- 6:08 -Can you stop self doubt?
- 11:05 – Who can you trust when choosing your book topic?
Full Episode Transcript:
EPISODE 3 OF SEASON 2 ON PAGE UP!
THE PODCAST HOSTED BY ME, DR. ANGELA LAURIA, FOUNDER OF THE AUTHOR INCUBATOR AND CREATOR OF THE DIFFERENCE PROCESS FOR WRITING A BOOK THAT MATTERS
When I was first learning about permanent weight loss, one of the tools that helped me most was the idea of decisions in advance. What that means is knowing that I was going to be at dinner where large beautiful bread baskets were brought. While I was not at dinner was the perfect time to decide how I want to act and feel and think when those bread baskets arrived.
So before you get into the meat of the writing, I want to give you some tools to help you make those decisions in advance. What you need to know is that self doubt is normal, it is highly unlikely that you are going to start writing be hundred percent clear and confident and never have a moment of self doubt. It’s probably happened in the history of writing, but like for four people, and we probably don’t like those people anyway, they’re probably not here, just like I’m not going to spend the rest of my life never having a basket of bread brought to the table.
So knowing for you, self doubt will show up, the question I want you to think about now, hopefully before it’s there, but you might be experiencing self doubt right now even the question I want you to think about is, Who do you want to be in the face of that self doubt? And I have a second question for you, which is, who is the person who finished this book in the face of self doubt?
I worked with a coach once, who asked me for one of my heroes, and I think I said Oprah at the time, or Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, and she said, Well, when Oprah or Sheryl Sandberg is doubting herself, what do you think she thinks or feels? And that was such a great question because for myself, the way self doubt felt was real. It felt logical, it almost felt scientific. It felt grounded and like I just needed to do something. I wasn’t even identifying it as self doubt.
The first tool for you is to really identify is this self doubt. I’m going to tell you one place this shows up, but it’s going to show up all over the place. Right around now, when people’s pre writing milestones are finished, they’ve completed that form that says, I’m not going to change my free writing milestones, they suddenly get a brilliant idea to change their book topic. 99.9% of the time, this is self doubt disguising itself as a brilliant plan, to to sabotage basically your whole book process, but it doesn’t feel like that. It will feel real and concrete and like this book idea is so much better. Really what happens- and this is why most people don’t finish their books is fear is a trickster fears sneaky and it likes to dress up in a lab coat.
Fear is going to show up at your door knocking on your door saying, Oh my God, this book will be so much better if you have a different ideal reader or a different IRP or a different DCT. Do you really want to sell that program? Can you really deliver those results? Who are you to write this book? Are you sure you can really help people? Can you get them that result? Are you over promising? Your pre-writing milestones would not have been approved? If there was any chance you couldn’t actually do this?
One thing to understand that might help you navigate this conversation you’ll be having with fear for the rest of your life, frankly, is that just because you pick an IRP and a DCT for this assignment doesn’t mean it won’t iterate and change. And evolve. Certainly, I’m not serving the exact same people I was five years ago and even one year ago. So it doesn’t mean you’re locked in forever. That’s what fear will tell you. It feels very binary. And fear will whisper in your ear. That’s it. You’re locked into doing this one thing forever and ever, and it’s going to be a failure. Those sorts of black and white thoughts are never true. There is always a both and there is always a true or thought that doesn’t require you deviating from the path.
There’s a great piece in the supplemental material and a link to my weight loss coach Brooke, Brooke Castillo. She did a podcast on this. It’s actually number 180 in the Life Coach School. And one of the things she says is that change your mind is a dream stealer.
Changing your mind is very expensive. I want to tell you that I’ve watched this in my business and I’ve watched it in my students businesses, my students who are entrepreneurs. What happens is you get this doubt, you get this discomfort and you want relief from the discomfort. One of the ways to relieve yourself from doubt and discomfort is to change your mind.
When you start questioning and doubting and saying I don’t know that doubt feels icky and uncomfortable. One of the ways to relieve that doubt is to change your mind and in your case, say I’m going to change by book topic. Then in that moment, very briefly, you will feel relief from that doubt. But it is a very expensive thing to do.
Brooke goes on to say, I’ve watched students do that give into doubt and change their mind with their book topics, their businesses, their niches, their commitments to clients and everything. So paying attention to how often you want to change your mind to get that immediate relief, as a form of emotional management, will save you millions of dollars if you can stop yourself from doing this. She says it’ll cost you millions of dollars literally if you keep changing your mind.
When you make a decision about your book topic. You have to have your own back on your decisions. Your brain is designed to rail against it and is a book which I thought was right behind me. It’s called breaking the habit of being yourself. It’s by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He actually explains the neuroscience behind this I’m going to do a not awesome job of recapping it. But if you’re selling who changes your mind a lot, you will want to read this book.
What Dr. Jones says, and the neuroscience supports this, is that every night that you go to bed and wake up the next morning alive, your brain is being programmed to do what it did yesterday. Your brain has been programmed to keep doing what you’ve been doing, whether it’s working or not for the goals you have. And that’s because your brains job is to keep your body alive. Your brains job is not to write a book that makes a difference. I know it seems like it should be but it’s not. Your brain is like let’s stay alive.
When you do something different, when you have trained yourself in the mode of self doubt, as many of us have. What happens is when you fight for your message when you fight for your movement, your brain actually thinks I’m gonna die. This body is gonna die, we’re gonna die. There’s a tiger attack, you go into your amygdala, your primordial brain, you are not working from your human brain or your highest prefrontal cortex faculties. And you are actually limiting your opportunities to change the world as a way to keep yourself safe from a made up threat that isn’t there.
When you actually think about it, when I asked you like, what’s going to happen if this is the wrong book topic? Do they take your kids away? Like what is right or wrong? How will we know? There’s no actual negative consequence. It’s just this overwhelming and amorphous thought, and this is normal. I don’t want you to wish this away. I want you to use your time in the author’s way to get stronger and stronger at navigating the self doubt that will continue to come up, it’ll come up when we do your pre order at your live event. It’ll come up when you get your edits with your editor. It will come up when you do your book title and your book cover it will come up again when you get your first negative review. There is no day in the future when you are not going to feel self doubt. What we can make happen though, is you can navigate through that more quickly by knowing it’s normal, noting the concerns that fear has for you. I always think of fear like sitting in the backseat of my car, like come along for the ride along. You can note the concerns that fear has for you. And we will often recommend that our authors write a letter to fear I have fear write a letter to them.
Do a free writing exercise. Where you have fear tell you their biggest concern. I want you to be in touch with that fear because when you are, you can move through it so much more quickly. Changing your mind is extremely expensive. And it does not lead to a better book. It’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The tools really that I would suggest for you are number one, connecting with that doubt with that fear, duelly noting the concerns and deciding from your human brain from your prefrontal cortex how you want to address them. I also recommend quiet meditation, prayer, and the creativity temple exercise, to reconnect with your book. And most importantly, what I recommend is that you don’t think of it as abnormal or bad.
One of the main points of this program is to help you learn how to navigate through doubt more quickly and effectively and efficiently. Because the person who wrote the book had to learn this. This is the reason people don’t finish their books. This is the reason people don’t finish their books because they don’t do this work. And this is the reason why people don’t make the difference that they want in the world, because they are not willing to feel uncomfortable. This is actually the most important part of the program. If you learn this and get a an average book done, it will be so much more valuable than having a great book done but not learning how to navigate self doubt. Because you won’t be able to make a difference even with the best book in the world. If you don’t have that tools to manage the self doubt that will come up.
Two technical notes on how to handle this. The first is part of your amygdala is going to tell you and you know the concept of fight or flight. Part of your amygdala is going to tell you please hide, the tiger is coming. And one way that your brain will think is brilliant is to post in Basecamp private messages to your managing editor or your concierge or someone on the team, or maybe even PM them and Facebook like your brain is going to give you terrible ideas. That hiding will keep you safe and we’ll address this. It won’t work we’re on to you. Really 80% of this program is about teaching you how to manage self doubt.
Remember how I teach you Your wish for the reader is different than the IRP in the DCT in the ideal readers words, well, my wish for you the one that won’t make any sales. So I don’t include in any of my marketing is that you will know how important it is to be able to manage self doubt, it’s never going anywhere 50% of the time, you’re going to have self doubt whether you’re Oprah or you, that is life. That’s what I want to teach. Now, my IRP and my DCT is, I need to write a book that makes a difference. I want to write a book that changes people’s lives. And we do that I deliver on that result. But the way you can write a book that changes people’s lives, the spinach that I’m stuffing inside here is this: Do not hide from the most important aspect of this program.
If you miss this lesson and still get your book done, you will not be getting value for your money. So my team is very well trained on this and if you will ask in an inappropriate place, like a Facebook private message or a email or a message in Basecamp, I will never ever see it. mercifully, but anyone on my team who does see it will tell you to do the correct thing, which is to post in the Incubated Author community and Facebook in the Facebook group for this program. That is where and how you share your doubts. Now, your brain is going to tell you ‘don’t share because other people will be bored, you’ll be wasting people’s time.’ Nope, that’s actually the whole program. It’s 80% of my program is managing self doubt. 20% is writing a book newsflash. So we want you to share that because it helps everyone.
How does it help everyone? Well, when you post it, you will be in your amygdala. You will think what you write is stupid. You Think it’s your You don’t deserve to be here we made a mistake accepting you. I promise you we didn’t. You will think your post is dumb. However, all of the other people in the group will be in their prefrontal cortex because it’s not their crap right? And so you will actually be practicing your servant’s heart by sharing your discomfort in this forum because they will all be able to hear it.
As we are all just waves on the ocean as we are all one, when they see me coaching you when they see our team coaching you, they will see themselves reflected in you. You will help and make the difference you wanted to make by being vulnerable about your own self doubts.
It is the Author Incubator, not The Book Incubator for reason, you must become the person who wrote the book before you write it. And the person who wrote the book, shared their insecurities in the Facebook group, and was open to being coached, to learning and to evolving in the safe space that we have created for you.
We want nothing more than your quick evolution into the person who is changing the world on a massive level. But you have to want it more than we do. We are equipped to handle it. That’s what we’re here for. We are very well trained and we’ve got you. The you have to want this more than us which means you’re going to have to be uncomfortable and post some difficult things in the Facebook group or share them on the weekly calls. Because that is how together we rise.
If you’re ready to build your business with a book, take my free class at pageuppodcast.com