Are You Good Enough to Write a Book?


In the past, when I heard the phrase, “That’s good enough,” I was really bothered. It seemed to me that saying this was settling for less than the best. When I’ve run out of time on a project, I’ve had to resort to that, resigning myself to the fact that I couldn’t get all the details right in time.

Leaving loose ends bothers me. Knowing I didn’t get everything just quite right bothers me.

Yet, I now see this dissatisfaction for what it is. Perfectionism. And I’ve recently discovered that there is a universe of difference between trying to make things perfect and striving for excellence. One is healthy. The other is not.

Perfection is an illusion. Even in nature perfection does not exist. And yet we marvel at the beauty we see there. We don’t say to the butterfly, your right wing is 2 mm longer than the left. We look at the whole wing, the whole butterfly and appreciate it.

Dr. Brené Brown, researcher and author extraordinaire, has traced the roots of perfectionism to a sense of unworthiness. Our unspoken belief is that if we can just do things perfectly, then we will earn our way to being worthy of people’s love and acceptance. But since perfection is impossible to achieve, then love and acceptance based on our achieving perfection is also impossible. Do you see how this feeds into a cycle? If you haven’t heard about any of Dr. Brown’s TED talks on YouTube or seen her on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday morning show, at the very least watch this one: Brené Brown TEDx Houston.

“I want to be worthy of love and acceptance, so I need to be a perfect mother. A perfect daughter. A perfect teacher. A perfect wife. A perfect…whatever.”

“I want to be worthy of love and acceptance, so I need to be thin and beautiful, like the super models. Like the women on billboards, in magazines, in Hollywood.

“In order to be accepted by a publishing company, I have to write a perfect book.”

And what do they tell all aspiring writers? You will be rejected. Accept it and move on. But what this means is, going into the game we’re set up for failure, for rejection, for unworthiness unless we can find our way to believing that we are worthy.

So here’s what I’ve learned:

That being good enough, just as I am, is not settling for something less than my best.

That who and what I am IS enough. No concealer, no airbrush makeup, no fancy hair blowing in the breeze or artfully arranged behind my head on a bed pillow.

That if I, myself, don’t think I’m enough, no one else will. But if I do think I’m enough, others will, too.

To help writers along with our emotional struggle, my friend Kristen Eckstein, the Ultimate Book Coach, created this infographic. It’s actually going to be made into bookmarks for her clients and for giving out to audiences where she speaks. But she’s given me permission to share this with you. Post it on your own blog, then link back to it from Twitter and Facebook. But if you share it, you must include her URL at the bottom. That’s all the thanks she needs.

Know this: You. Are. Enough.




Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • FriendFeed
  • MySpace
Send to Kindle

About Deb

Deb Gallardo is a published author for adults and children, an educator and an accomplished performer in concert and on stage. She helps fiction writers find story ideas, and offers writing tips, advice, exercises and inspiration.
This entry was posted in Psychology of Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Are You Good Enough to Write a Book?

  1. Pingback: Inspiration for Authors: Am I Good Enough to Write a Book? : How To Live On Purpose

  2. Pingback: Inspirational Thoughts for Authors: Am I Good Enough to Write a Book? : How To Live On Purpose

  3. Deb says:


    It’s wonderful that reading this created a new attitude in you. I would challenge you to go one step further. Just start writing, express yourself, your thoughts. You see, by qualifying yourself, you give yourself an “out,” a way that, if you fail, you have a reason for it.

    But the point is, in order to write, all you need is to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and string words together in the way only you can.

    Will what you write be perfect? Probably not. (But if that were to happen, let me know what your secret is. LOL.) Writing is at least 50 percent rewriting.

    The thing is, we don’t learn how to write by taking classes, or even by being encouraged by other writers. We learn how to write by sitting down and writing, preferably every day at about the same time of day. What classes do is help to make you a BETTER writer, and the encouragement of others keeps you writing when you’re discouraged, when you have self-doubt. And you will get discouraged and you will doubt yourself.

    Tell yourself “I’m already good enough to write.” You’re not saying that you are instantly a great writer. You’re not saying you are ready to publish. Great writers and published writers (not always the same thing) are made through sweat and toil.

    But right now, today, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH to write.

    All the courses in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t sit down and write. If you need help getting started, contact me and I’ll help you develop some momentum. That’s all of us need. Now, go write something!

    Wishing you the best on your writing endeavors,

  4. Pingback: How to become a successful writer in 3 simple steps

  5. When I started reading this, I thought to myself, “If I want to put in the time and resources, I am good enough. This is a new attitude for me, but by taking some classes and having friends who are writers who have encouraged me, and feeling better about my writing and MYSELF, I know I am good enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *