Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Discipline of Writing and the Fear of Failure by Olivia Rae

One of the toughest things about becoming a writer is discipline. We all know a book doesn’t write itself and no matter how much praying we do, the words don’t always come. I have been writing a long time…well, sort of. I spent the first five years of my writing career talking about writing, researching, taking classes, attending conferences, perfecting my first three chapters and a synopsis, but I never finished a book.

I used to blame my lack of productivity on my day job, my family, my dog, the neighbor’s dog, anyone and anything, instead of myself. Slowly, but surely all the writers in my critique group became published authors, while I kept on pretending that someday I would write a great book. Even after publishing six books and having four other manuscripts looking for a publisher, I still struggle with sitting down to write.

Often what keeps me back from writing is fear of failure. I’m a sensitive sort and every time someone gives me a bad review or a rejection letter lands in my inbox, I crawl in my closet (literally) with my favorite candy (right now it’s black jelly beans), but the key is: I always crawl back out. And that’s the answer. God says in the Bible we should not fear anything. Not everybody is going to love me or embrace what I write, but that’s okay. If you put yourself out there you will be rewarded. Maybe it’s becoming a contest finalist, an email from a fan, a publishing contract or a hug from your hubby or kids. Whatever it is, remember your talent is a gift from God. So use it!

Tips on how to finish a book:

1. Keep a log of how many words or pages you write each day.

2. Set a goal and tell someone who can hold you to it. (i.e. I will finish this book or these many pages by…)

3. Carve out a writing time each day and stick to it. (Start with a half hour and work from there.)

4. Exercise (Yes, taking a walk or doing a few sit ups gets the blood flowing and the brain working.)

5. Remember, writing time is not plotting, research or marketing time. You can plot a new book when you have finished this one.

So stop reading this post and go write!

P.S. I’d love to hear your favorite writing strategy, email me at Oliviarae.books@gmail.com


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Olivia Rae is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. She spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town on the edge of a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world.

Olivia is the winner of the New England Readers’ Choice Award, Illumination Award Bronze medalist, Buyer Best Book Award Finalist, a Kindle Book Award Semi-Finalist, I Heart Indie Award Finalist, and Grab Me Award Finalist. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Contact Olivia at Oliviarae.books@gmail.com

For news and sneak peeks of upcoming novels visit:

6 comments:

  1. What wonderful advice -- not just for writing but for any big project. It's exactly what I needed to hear right now. I love your books, by the way!

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    1. Thanks, Pam. You are so right. If we set a goal anything is possible.

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  2. Love this! Thank you for writing this and sharing with others.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experiences :).

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