Are Limiting Beliefs Keeping You from Writing Your Book?

by Suzanne Lieurance

Do you want to write a book, yet you just can’t seem to sit down and do it?

Well, most likely, you have some limiting beliefs that are getting in your way.

Limiting beliefs can significantly hinder you from reaching your goal to write a book in several ways.

See if any of the following seem familiar:

#1. Self-Doubt.

Limiting beliefs often lead to self-doubt, where you may question your abilities, creativity, or worthiness to write a book. 

You may believe you're not talented enough, don't have anything valuable to say, or fear criticism from others.

#2. Fear of Failure.

If you have limiting beliefs, you may fear failure or rejection, causing you to procrastinate or avoid writing altogether. 

You may worry about not being able to finish the book, not finding a publisher, or receiving negative feedback about your manuscript.

#3. Perfectionism. 

Limiting beliefs can fuel perfectionism, where you set unrealistically high standards for yourself and your writing. 

You may constantly revise and edit your work, striving for unattainable perfection, which can stall progress and prevent you from completing the book.

#4. Comparison.

If you have limiting beliefs, you may compare yourself to other authors, feeling inadequate or inferior in comparison. 

This comparison mindset can demotivate you and undermine your confidence in your writing abilities.

#5. Imposter Syndrome. 

Imposter syndrome is common among writers and stems from the belief that one's achievements are undeserved or the result of luck rather than skill or effort. 

With imposter syndrome you may feel like a fraud or worry that you'll be exposed as incompetent, which can hinder your progress and productivity.

#6. Negative Self-Talk.

Limiting beliefs often manifest as negative self-talk, where you constantly have critical or self-sabotaging thoughts. 

This negative inner dialogue can erode your confidence, motivation, and creativity, making it difficult to generate ideas or make progress on your book.

#7. Lack of Confidence. 

Ultimately, limiting beliefs chip away at your confidence in yourself and your abilities. 

Without confidence, you may struggle to take risks, express yourself authentically, or share your work with others, all of which are essential components of writing a book.

So, how do you overcome those limiting beliefs that are keeping you from writing your book?

Take these steps:

Step #1. Identify Your Limiting Beliefs.

First, notice those pesky thoughts that make you doubt yourself or your writing. 

You know, the ones that say you're not good enough or that your ideas stink.

Step #2. Challenge Those Limiting Beliefs.

Once you've spotted those negative thoughts, challenge them! 

Ask yourself if there's any real basis for these beliefs or if they're simply assumptions or perceptions.

Think of times when you rocked it as a writer or when someone praised your work. 

Step #3. Be Kind to Yourself.

Cut yourself some slack! 

Writing is tough, and it's okay to feel unsure sometimes.

It’s normal to have doubts and fears but remind yourself that you’re capable of overcoming them. 

Treat yourself like you would a friend who's struggling—with kindness and encouragement.

Step #4. Set Realistic Writing Goals.

Writing a complete book is a big goal and it can feel overwhelming. 

Break down this big goal into smaller, manageable tasks, like writing a certain number of pages each day or brainstorming ideas for a new chapter.

Step #5.  Celebrate Your Progress.

Even small victories deserve a reward! 

Finished a chapter? 

Treat yourself to a cookie. 

Got positive feedback from a friend? 

Give yourself a pat on the back. 

Every step forward is worth celebrating!

Step #6. Develop a Growth Mindset.

Be excited that your writing abilities can improve with effort and practice. 

Instead of seeing challenges as roadblocks, see them as opportunities to grow and improve as a writer.

Step #7. Make Friends with Other Writers.

Get to know your fellow writers. 

Share your struggles and successes with them. 

Soak up their support and advice like a sponge.

Step #8. Picture Success.

Close your eyes and picture yourself holding a finished book with your name on it. 

Imagine the thrill of readers loving your story.

Let that image motivate you to keep writing.

Step #9. Roll with the Ups and Downs.

Writing can be a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. 

Some days the writing flows with ease, other days you can’t seem to get anything down on paper.

When you hit a rough patch, dust yourself off, learn from it, and keep on writing. 

You're tougher than you think!

Step #10. Just Stick with It.

The most important thing is to keep writing, even when it's hard. 

Set aside time each day to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. 

Every word you write brings you closer to writing your book.

Now, connect with other writers by joining Write by the Sea Creative Writers, our free Facebook group. 

And be sure to get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge and The Law of Attraction Checklist for Writers at

Suzanne Lieurance is an award-winning author, with over 40 published books, and a Law of Attraction coach for writers at



Terry Whalin said...


What a great list of limiting beliefs--and I identified with a number of them--yes, still growing and learning as a writer. Thank you,

author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition) [Follow the Link for a FREE copy]

Nina said...

All good advice! I'll pass the article to some writing friends, Thank you, Nina

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

So glad you wrote this, Suzanne. So many people think “Imposter Syndrome” isn’t a real thing! I first learned about it in “Psychology Day” and it isn’t just us, though sometimes it feels that way! (-:
Carolyn Howard-Johnnson

Karen Cioffi said...

Suzanne, great list of what might be holding a writer back and how to overcome it. I think self-doubt and imposter syndrome apply to many of us. Continually honing your skills and #9 and 10 will help with that! Thanks for sharing.

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