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Book Writing Secrets: Are You Motivated Enough to Stick with It?

I mentioned in a previous blog that part of becoming a member of the “Two Percent Club” relates to how motivated you are to complete your book. I cannot stress enough how important that is. I started my first book—a novel—when I was just pregnant with my second child. My husband and I lived in a big house on a beach and the environment was perfect for being a writer.

I had a beautiful office with a balcony overlooking the lake and the cool breezes from the water would surge into my window and it was an incredibly idyllic life.

Writing a book should have been easy for me. I had no idea I was going to become a personal development book coach and book editor, but I was—and still am—a professional writer and author. I’d had great jobs in journalism, and government and corporate communications, and I’d worked for a number of years as a copywriter at a marketing firm. I had been edited nine ways to Sunday, so I had great sentence structure, terrific spelling skills, and a strong vocabulary. I’ve always been a creative person, and so coming up with a storyline and some character sketches was no problem.

Pledge to Write and Complete Your Novel

When I started writing my novel I figured I would be done the entire manuscript around about the time my baby was due to be born, but at the end of nine months the baby was finished but the book was not. Over the course of the next decade or so my husband and I moved quite a bit, and we had another baby, which brought the size of our blended family litter to five children altogether. I would plug away at the book off and on, but mostly I found reasons not to work on it. It wasn’t a priority, I had a busy family, it wasn’t going to add a lot of dollars to the family treasure chest, I didn’t think I could do it, who did I think I was to write a book, what if nobody wants to read it, etc. etc. etc. I was consumed with self-doubt and I thought that writing a book was a vanity project, something that made my world better maybe but ultimately not of a great deal of use to anybody else.

I still really wanted to be published, a real-life Canadian author. And I was also a little afraid of the idea. But my husband kept saying, “Write your book.”

And then he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. And three months later, he died.

Steve’s death was a huge wake-up call for me. I was left to raise a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old alone, and I had to re-tool my professional life to support us all financially. I was really affected, of course, by the tragedy of a life cut short so abruptly. Steve had died with a lot of songs un-sung and a lot of dreams died with him. I learned that we don’t know how much time we have left on this planet and if there is something you feel you need to do with your life, you better get on with it. I realized it was time to stop doubting myself and start investing in my own dreams. The most important of which was to finish my book and get it published.

And so I got on with it. Over the next few years I completed my book manuscript, had it professionally edited, and, by the Grace of God, Shades of Teale was picked up by the traditional publishers at Manor House Publishing.

It doesn’t have to take a tragedy to help you realize that if you want to become an author, at some point you have to put your money where your mouth is and get on with it.

If you would like help with the project of writing a book, or becoming motivated to do it, please get in touch with me! I know how challenging it can be. And I know how to get it done.


  • Susan, this post really spoke to me. I can really relate to having the strong, internal pull to do something in the world only to be stopped by self-doubt and limiting beliefs. As soon as we stretch and start to go for it, those beliefs come up. The act of committing ourselves and taking action triggers them! You’re right. It doesn’t have to take a tragedy to realise our dreams. And at some point, whatever it is we’re compelled to do, we just have to get on with it and do it! Thanks for sharing your story and motivating me Susan.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Sharon — as you suggest, being pulled forward by a compelling dream for the future is wonderful and yet a dream is just a wonderful idea if we don’t take action!

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