The key to writing your first or latest book is to trust yourself. For some reason, a lot of us like to blame ourselves when things go wrong. We say things like, "I can't believe I was so stupid when I..." and "What the hell is wrong with me?" A lifetime of inner and outer monologues like that and we're bound not to accomplish much. If we decide to drop the negativity instead and go for the opposite, building ourselves up to the point that we believe we can do anything, we're much more likely to be the writers and creative people we desire to be.
I don't quite understand why people make so much fun of self-help. One of the things they make the most fun of are affirmations, as popularized in the hilarious Stuart Smalley sketches on Saturday Night Live. We hear the words, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me," and we can't help but giggle. Who in their right mind talks to themselves like that, we think. Then again, how often do we do exactly the opposite to ourselves in the mirror or in our heads? We're pretty rough on ourselves and our standards of how we should be acting. Saying things like "I suck," and "I'm such a waste of life," makes it so that you can't trust yourself to do much of anything. It's like you're slowly but surely giving up on yourself.
I'm not saying you should go up to the nearest mirror and start whispering sweet nothing in your own ear, but I do think that you should consider that to trust yourself you need to be more encouraging to yourself and others.
When I wrote my first book, I had pounded myself with so much inner-negativity that I assumed it would be a colossal flop. I almost never finished it because of the belief that it was hardly worth it and that it was bound to fail. I'm sure I'm not the only first time author to ever experience this and it pains me to think how many people have never become authors because of it. Eventually, I realized that I had to trust myself, because if I didn't, I would never accomplish anything. I didn't say it to myself in a mirror or upon the instruction of a self-help audio cassette. I just did it and after selling over 7,000 copies and righting myself financially, I'm sure glad I did.
Figure out some ways to believe in yourself more. If you have problems with your eating habits, trust yourself to go to a party without stuffing your face. If you have had issues with procrastination, trust yourself to get up early on a Saturday and finish some of your work. If you think that you're a bad person, trust yourself to do something nice for someone without getting something in return. If you're like I was, you might have a lot of self-negativity to work out, but if you start putting in the time now, you're bound to be much happier and healthier a year from now than you are today.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.