Have you ever read a book and felt like the author was reading your mind? That’s exactly what happened when I read The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writer’s Journey, Joanna Penn’s latest book for writers.
She gets to the heart of the matter, right there on page one:
Even if there’s no one criticizing you externally, you still have that voice inside that tells you how terrible your words are, how you will never make anything of yourself creatively, how pitiful your attempts are at creation. You battle negative thoughts and the ebbs and flows of writing energy.
Um … has Joanna Penn been reading my personal journal? Of course not. She doesn’t need to, because every writer feels this way sometimes.
A little further down on the same page, she writes,
So this book collects the mindset issues that writers go through, that I have been through myself over the last nine years, and that perhaps you will experience yourself at different times on the author’s journey. These words are an attempt to help you understand that what you’re going through is normal and to be expected as part of the creative process.
Joanna Penn is well-known in indie publishing circles for her books on the business and processes of writing. Her blog, The Creative Penn, is packed with fantastic writing advice. She also hosts The Creative Penn Podcast, a weekly show featuring interviews with writers.
But The Successful Author Mindset is a different type of book because Penn gets personal and helps us think about the interior issues of mindset, attitude, and habits. She also deals with topics such as handling criticism, fear of judgment, and perfectionism.
The content of the book is great, but what I appreciated most is Penn’s attitude. She doesn’t come across as an expert (although she is). Instead, she takes the approach of a friend who is right there alongside you, encouraging you on your own writer’s journey … whether you are just starting out, or have been writing for a long time.
Many times throughout the book, Penn shares snippets from her personal journal. Most people wouldn’t dare make themselves so vulnerable, but it’s precisely this level of authenticity that makes her advice so valuable and real.
Bottom line: The Successful Author Mindset is required reading for writers. At 150 pages, it’s a quick read, but the lessons are timeless.
What mindset issues do you struggle with as a writer, artist, or creative? How can a book like this help you?
Originally Published on Kent Sanders
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