As a non-fiction book coach for mothers, as well as a published author of two books (one traditionally published and one self-published) I know only too well the excuses women give themselves as to why they can’t write their life changing books.
In my recent book, Write Like a Mother, I uncover five key lies that are holding them hostage. Because ladies, it’s not the talent in your soul that’s holding you in bondage—it’s your mind. One of the core lies I shine light on is none other than, “It’s Been Done Before.” Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 2. Perhaps you can relate?
Lie #2 – It’s Been Done Before
(Translation: “ ‘Others’ know more than I do so why bother?”)
Excerpt taken from Chapter 2 of my Book, Write Like a Mother
When I first got the nudge to write my transformational memoir, I felt luminous with possibility. I knew, way down in my gut where the God of my understanding lived, that this was my purpose. I felt calm, centered and serene.
Then I went to the bathroom and threw up.
My queasiness wasn’t without reason. All I had to do was search “Tourette Syndrome” on the internet and dozens of books came up. Some were solely from the medical perspective. “Phew! No competition there!” I reassured myself.
But many of these books were from moms just like me, which opened the door to my doubt. “It’s been done before! Why bother?!” I moaned as I pictured an iron gate clanking shut on my book-writing aspirations.
I tried to put my publishing dreams to bed and go on with my everyday life. After all, what was there to complain about? I had a home to live in. I owned two cars. My kids were healthy (minus my son’s tics.) And yet, deep inside, I was miserable.
I’d like to say that I kept my misery to myself and that I focused on the bright side of my blessings, but that wasn’t true. Instead of having “the opportunity” to drive carpool and cook dinner for my family, I was resentful.
Instead of having “the ability” to work online—a luxury so many other women of my age did not have the option to do—I was bitter.
This bitterness, much to my disappointment, leaked out on my attitude with my husband and kids. And, more personally, it ate me up inside. I started getting panic attacks, drank too much and fell into fits of anxiety, anger and depression.
For years I told myself that my fickle emotions were just my “genetics” but that wasn’t true. After getting sober and peeling back the many layers of who I thought I was supposed to be—and discovering who I truly was—I realized I was distraught at not living as my authentic self.
Instead of writing my book, I was grasping onto the lie that because other people already wrote books on the same subject, mine was somehow not valuable.
Like we recognized in Lie #1, it was only in deciding that my story mattered—that I mattered—that my mindset was able to transform from “not enough” to “enough-ness.”
SWITCH YOUR PERSPECTIVE!
Being nauseous about writing my book was not unlike my initial stages of pregnancy. Once I got adjusted to this new idea inside of me, my body settled down and I was able to create something glorious and new.
And, guess what? Even though thousands of women had been pregnant in the past, not one of them was able to birth the exact combination of DNA that I was able to do. It was the same with my book! It was unique in its own right!
THINK AND WRITE LIKE A MOTHER
If you are suffering from the “It’s Been Done Before” lie, I suggest that you, like me, start thinking of your story as a newborn child. Just because yours isn’t the first baby ever to enter the world, you still need to nurture it. He or she is absolutely precious and unique in their own right. Abandonment of it is 100% out of the question!
And consider this: If your eight-year-old ever came to you wanting to play soccer, would you ever tell her, “That’s ridiculous! Other kids have been playing soccer since they were five and a drunk penguin kicks better than you, so put away your dreams and get a heads up on studying chemistry… Oh, and figure out how to tie your shoe. You can’t use Velcro straps forever, kid.” I’m thinking the answer is “No,” so why would you tell yourself that same garbage about your book?
WRITE FOR YOU, NOT “OTHERS”
When my clients come to me wailing about how “It’s been done before,” I ask them why they want to write their particular book. The answer I most often get is, “I’m writing it to transform others.” And friends, this is a lovely sentiment, but it’s also a trap, because it’s this terrifying “Other” that is keeping them from writing it in the first place.
Encouraging others, like this book I wrote for you mamas, is noble, but I had to write it for myself first. I had to put everyone else aside and, yes, “Write Like a Mother.” #nofear
YOU NEED TO WRITE YOUR BOOK FOR YOU FIRST
Writing a book for yourself—the most important mama in the pack—might sound narcissistic, but it’s actually quite practical. When you write for others, it’s easy to pander and create content you think people want. Unfortunately, this dulls down the shine of your message. It’s not organic. It’s forced. And it just won’t resonate with people.
When you write for yourself, you’re writing authentically from your soul. And trust me—it’s this authenticity that will attract readers to your book. And you’re the only one who can write it!
If you are writing a book for your business, your authenticity will attract the ideal client who will jump at your paid offers, flock to your speaking gigs and buy your valuable product.
I dealt with this subject when I was writing my book on Tourette Syndrome. In addition to fretting over the fact that “Others” had written a book on this subject already, I was worried that maybe my book was too specific. “What about moms of kids with other special needs?” I thought. “Shouldn’t I go out of my way to include them in the messaging?”
The same issue came up when it came to incorporating my faith into my first book. “Would I turn people off if I was too specific?” I thought. “Should I make it more general for people of all faiths, or for people of no faiths?”
In the end, I narrowed down writing my book specifically for Tourettes and my particular religious leanings at the time. Although my relationship with my Higher Power has changed a bit since that first book, I’m so glad I stayed true to who I was back then because my niche and my message were clear. Readers with similar sensibilities as mine found that my book really resonated with them. And those that had different faith walks took what worked for them and left the rest.
By writing from my authentic soul, I found I didn’t have to preach, pander or beg people to listen to me. I just had to tell my story because, yes, I’ll say it again. “My story mattered.” And “I matter, too.”
By refusing to water down my book’s message on special needs’ parenting and my reliance on my Higher Power, I gave other moms permission to lean into their faith and parent in a way that worked for them. You can do this with your book, too!
WRITING AND FRIENDSHIP
The same “Other” vs. “Self” mentality could be said for you as a person. When you are 100% yourself and people love you anyway, that’s the sign of true friendship. Vulnerability is key. But the only way to be vulnerable is to take a risk and be the person in the world you are deep inside.
AUTHENTICITY DANGER: When you actually stand as your true self, some people might dump you, but then those aren’t your people. It’s the same with your readers. Building an amazing tribe in real life, and with your book, begins with you as your unapologetic, fearless, loveable and wonderful self.
CHECK IN WITH YOUR GUT
As a person of deep spiritual resolve, I have found that nothing has been more valuable in my writing career than trusting my gut. That is where my Higher Power lives. When I trust it with my books and my writing gigs, readers and income flow naturally.
When I don’t trust it and get into self-will, I become frustrated and angry. I find myself managing and controlling those around me to feel better about my choices. (Oh, yeah, it’s fun times in my house when that happens.)
If your gut is telling you to write a particular story, regardless of the big bad “Other” howling to blow your house of books down, trust that instinct. Your faith walk might be different than mine, but your need to tell your story is the same. I value it. Do you?
DECIDE TO WRITE THE BOOK
Decide that maybe your soul—your beautiful, wild, one-of-a-kind soul—is just as valuable as that “Other” whose book is already on the market. And guess what? That “Other” writer was once like you, battling the wolf in her mind that told her, “Why bother? Someone else has done this.” The only difference between her and you? She wrote the book. And you can, too.
WRITING IN YOUR NICHE
In closing, I want to add that half the battle in writing a non-fiction book is narrowing down your niche. This can be problematic for you creative brained “I can do everything” people. And while yes, you might have many talents, it’s crucial to narrow your message down.
For example, my second book was written specifically for mothers who want to write books rooted in wisdom, humor and spirituality. I am super clear about this and make zero apologies. Am I potentially losing a huge base of people who don’t fall into that category? YES! But I don’t care, because those aren’t my people. Those aren’t the folk who will hire me for my coaching services. I wrote to my demographic, and lo and behold, my email list is growing and growing. And yours can, too.
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Release Date: December 8, 2020
Written by a mama for mamas, Write Like a Mother is a must have manual for aspiring female authors everywhere to transition from thinking about writing their book to actually writing it. Packed with encouragement, spirituality and step-by-step guidance, this poignant motivational guide tackles five key lies suffocating mothers from showing up for their kids and grandkids as their most beautiful, soulful, authentic selves: published authors. Penned by a produced TV, magazine, blog, multi-book writer and sought after book coach, Andrea R. Frazer makes a brilliant case for how writing is not selfish, but instead the most healing and radical act a woman can choose for her family and, most importantly, herself. Her book serves as a siren song for mamas of all ages to unapologetically embrace their souls’ true calling, crush doubt, transform their mindset and WRITE LIKE A MOTHER.
In addition to her two non-fiction books (traditional & self-published) Andrea is a WGA produced television writer, blogger, corporate, magazine and newspaper writer. She is currently finishing up her musical about camels (don’t judge) as well as coaching other mamas to write books rooted in wisdom, spirituality and humor.