9 Negative Beliefs That Are Sabotaging Your Writing Career

9 Negative Beliefs That Are Sabotaging Your Writing Career

This post is a part of an ongoing series entitled MIP {Man In Progress}. After my 25th Birthday I decided to improve three aspects of my life {one of those aspects was my writing career}. My philosophy is that a writer’s work and his life are irrevocably intertwined and in order to improve one we inevitably have to improve the other.

Recently, I’ve started to ghostwrite and freelance, which means I’m actually being paid to write for the first time in my life!

I’ve also been featured in widely popular blogs like WriteToDone, GoodLife Zen, and Problogger. (Not to mention I’m still keeping up a successful blog and working on the second draft of my novel.)

So it seems like my writing career has just started to get cooking. And, as always, I wanted to take the time to share with you what I’ve done in order to get myself this far.

9 Negative Beliefs That Are Sabotaging Your Career

What I’ve done is I’ve basically toppled some negative beliefs about my writing career that had, until recently, been stunting my growth.

Below I have listed those negative beliefs and I’ve paired these negative beliefs with the positive, true facts that I used to combat them:

Negative Belief: You can’t make money writing

Positive FACT: You CAN make money writing and in fact you can make a living writing

Writers like Carol Tice, Linda Formichelli, and Sean Platt make a living writing.

No, most of them are not fiction writers on the side like you are, but still. They make money writing–in fact they make a living writing.

So who says you can’t, too?

Negative Belief: Freelancing writing and any other kind of writing that isn’t fiction is going to drain your energy and keep you away from your novel

Positive FACT: Freelancing and ghostwriting may be the best thing that can happen to your novel

I have found that my work on ghostwriting and freelancing has vastly improved my novel writing.

How so, you ask?

You see, since I dedicate less time to my novel nowadays, I actually look forward to my novel more often than not. Writing my novel becomes my REWARD for all the freelancing and ghostwriting work I’ve done.

And, really, the truth is that fiction writing is very different from ghostwriting or freelancing.

So, I really can’t say that one form of writing “drains” my energy for another. Freelancing and ghostwriting are so different from each other that each one feels like a breath of fresh air whenever I engage with it.

True, I’m only working on my novel for 5 hours a week at the moment, {unlike the 20 hours a week I used to clock in before}, but the difference is that this time I have a stream of money coming in, and, hey, what’s wrong with that?

Negative Belief: You’re a victim

Positive Fact: You have the power to change your fate every second of every day

Sure, blame the fact that you can’t make a living writing your fiction novel on the government, on society, on history, on people who don’t appreciate art.

But, really, who cares if society doesn’t get you, or doesn’t think your work is valid?

Please. I got better things to do with my energy than complain about my victimhood–like actually start to prove people wrong about writing and art.

Stop blaming everyone else from stopping you from becoming the fabulous artist or writer you always wanted to be.

Stop whining and start doing.

Negative Belief: It’s too hard

Positive FACT: It’s a lot easier than you think

Especially now that there is this thing called “blogs” where, if you wanted to, you can create an online platform that showcases your work.

And if you can also show that you can get a lot of people to read your content, then that’s even more proof to potential clients or big name bloggers that you know what you’re doing.  Showcasing your great work on your blog will give those clients or big name bloggers more reason to want to hire you or drive a huge amount of traffic to your site.

Oh, and guess what? These “blogs” I’m talking about? They don’t cost you a penny, but they get your work out to potentially millions of people all over the world.

I’m sorry, whatchusay? You don’t know how to make your blog popular? Have you really not heard of sites like Problogger or WriteToDone—sites that consistently give tons of useful advice for you to improve your blog performance?

Are you sure you think it’s hard, or do you just not want to dedicate the time and energy to read all the great advice that’s out there, and then implement that advice on your own blog?

Negative Belief: The market is bad for writers

Positive FACT: The market couldn’t be better for writers who want to earn money writing–and it’s only going to get better

Negative Belief: I have to work at doing something that my friends and/or family understand and respect

Positive FACT: Others don’t have to understand or respect you for you to progress in your career.

I bet you have a friend who doesn’t understand Shakespeare, or a family member who really doesn’t care for Harry Potter and thinks its stupid. Does that mean we should all stop reading Shakespeare or loving Harry Potter?

Look, tons of people will never understand or respect what you do.

In fact, the ONLY people who are ever understood and respected on a consistent basis are dictators—and I’m sure that’s only because they put guns to people’s heads.

Negative Belief: I’m just so resistant to moving forward with my writing career, and as much as I try, I can’t do anything about it.

Positive FACT: You are the one who is resisting. That means you are the one who can relax and open up.

At one point, I encountered an intense resistance to progressing my writing career.

It was very strange. It was like finding an old rusty lever in the middle of my gut that hadn’t been pulled in hundreds of years.

After a while of trying to pull that lever with no success, I suddenly realized that it was just never going to work. It’s not that I wasn’t strong enough to pull that rusty lever; it’s just that I was approaching the problem all wrong:

The truth was, it was I who was that rusty lever. I was the one who didn’t want to be budged.

So, as the lever, all I had to do to let go of my resistance was simply to relax and open up. Once I did that, the rusty lever gave way easily and I was able to move forward with my career.

Negative Belief: I’m a terrible, no-good writer, and I’ll never get better.

Positive Belief: You’re a great writer. And even if you’re not the best, you can always improve.

Okay. Confession: this isn’t my negative belief.

But I know that it’s many of yours and that’s why I offer a writing consultation service through this blog. (UPDATE: I am no longer offering this service.) I’ve already managed to help many writers drastically improve their writing, and if you struggle with your writing, know that I can help.

I really want you to be the absolute best writer you can be.

As I progress in my writing career, I will continue to slash away all the negative beliefs that seek to sabotage my career, and I will continue to focus on the positive FACTS that are always available to me, as long as I’m willing to acknowledge them.

much love,


What negative beliefs do you think are holding you back or sabotaging your writing career? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Categories: MIP (Man in Progress)