Allen J Johnston

Author of The Divine Series

The official website of Allen J Johnston, the author of The Divine Series.

The Fear of Failure!

So, you might be curious why I titled this blog post "The Fear of Failure." It's simple. Most people who want to write a book, or anything for that matter, fear that they will be labeled a fraud, a joke or many other horrifying thoughts. Even writers who have been writing for years and have published a dozen books still go through this. "What???" you ask. "Really???" Yes! This, alone, causes many writers to keep from starting their first book. I am a perfect example of this. I wrote my trilogy that totaled a word count of over 300,000 words. What did I do with it? Well, like any normal person with fears of humiliation by the public, I hid it away on my shelf. Yes, I put over a year into writing this series and then shelved it. Does this sound familiar? If it does, let me assure you that you are not alone. So what got me moving again. Well, after two decades, I decided to dust it off and show it to the closest and trusted people in my life. "TWENTY YEARS???" You ask in shock. Yes, but let me get back to my story. So, they read the first chapter and their eyes opened wide as they looked at me and said, "Wow, I had no idea you could write like this. Why is it not published?" My answer? I am sure it is the same as yours. Lack of confidence and fear of humiliation. My head spun slightly as they firmly pushed, no, SHOVED me in the direction of getting my book published. Needless to say, that kind of confidence was inspiring, so I decided to try. If you are interested in following my story, check back and I will continue to explain my thrills, excitement and letdowns. Don't fear, it's all part of the process. So I will save the rest of the story for the many weeks to come and move onto other things you may find useful.

I am always approached by people who start a sentence by saying, "You know, I always wanted to write a (fill in the blank)" but inevitably end up finishing by saying "But I am afraid that it won't be good enough," or "I don't know how I would do it" or "No one will want it." It does not mean that you should not write it. You should. I mean it. YOU SHOULD!!! The only way you can become an author is IF YOU WRITE. So, put your fears aside and get in front of your computer and write. Yes, if you are reading this, you can feel your pulse start to quicken at the thought of being an author. Grab a hold of that feeling and let that excitement drive you until you have finished the book...or whatever you want to write. You may even contact me and ask my opinion. As long as I have time, I will read what you want to show me and I will give you feedback.

So now I am going to share with you the most asked question I get. Interestingly, I am asked, if I could give one piece of advice, what would it be. This is an easy one but 90% of the self published authors still mess this one up. The one piece of advice I would say that needs to be followed....EDIT EDIT EDIT!!! You MUST proofread your books and edit over and over. Why do I say this? Anyone who writes books and has any success at it knows what I am about to say. As you write a story, it makes sense to you. It will surprise you to go back and read it a month later and find you are confused about what you were trying to convey or that you missed your mark completely. It happens. So, read and reread your book over and over. Now, I may be a bit OCD with this but I read each of my books at least ten times. "TEN TIMES???" you ask. Yes. If you want to be taken serious, you MUST MUST MUST remove as many errors from your book as possible. You would be shocked to see how many simple mistakes people make. Would you believe that I actually saw a book where the title was misspelled? You laugh but it happened. For the record, mystery is not spelled mistery. Yes, that was a true mistake, not an intentional misspelling.

So, have I encouraged you enough to start writing? If not, then let me direct you to read my book, which I was afraid may not be good enough write. Do it. Go to Amazon and search my book and read the first two chapters free. See what I was afraid to publish. Not everyone is going to give me five star reviews, but I realized that I was the one holding me back. Stay tuned to my blog to see how my publishing story continued. For now, get to that computer and start putting down your ideas!