Okay, I think that’s a real word derived from authentic Latin roots (propono = publish; phobia = fear). If proponophobia wasn’t a real word before, it certainly needs to be added to the English dictionary now because it is definitely a real fear for many, including myself from time to time.

If you’re one of those people who has completed a manuscript but you have not taken the next steps to get it published (namely editing and/or submitting to a publisher), you may be suffering from proponophobia.

In an effort to help you battle this chronic problem, I’d like to dispel a few myths that perpetuate proponophobia.

1. It needs to be perfect first. The reality is: Your book may not ever be perfect in your eyes. There is always a line that could have been better, and you will most definitely see the weaknesses in your previous works as you become a more experienced writer. Writing is art. Art mimics life, and life is far from perfect.

2. What if people don’t like it? There will be people who don’t like your books for reasons beyond your control. Expecting everyone to like your work is like expecting everyone to prefer the same flavor sno-cone or enjoy listening to the same singer.

I recently met a music teacher who loathes Michael Bolton. I yelled, “Really?? Who doesn’t like Michael Bolton?!”Two more teachers chimed in saying they didn’t like Bolton’s distinctive, rugged tone, either. I was appalled! When I left the session, I Googled “can’t stand Michael Bolton” and was surprised to find almost 6,000 results!My goodness! What is the world coming to?! Someone had even gone so far as to make an “I can’t stand Michael Bolton” Facebook page! (For the record, the page only has one “like”.)

My point is that some people will like your work, some people won’t. Be okay with that. Don’t let the possibility that people may even hate your book rob you of the opportunity to reach those who may love what you’ve written.

3. What if my book is really terrible, I just haven’t realized it and everyone who says it’s great (including my editor) is either lying or doesn’t really know what good writing is? This is possible, though not likely if you’ve used a reputable editor. A good editor will say to you, “This isn’t ready for publication, and here’s why.” Then again, good editors rejected some of today’s bestselling novels.

Ultimately, the readers will decide if your book is satisfying enough to recommend it to their friends and family.  Until you publish your book, the readers cannot make this decision.

I know. It sounds intimidating. Welcome to the world of published authors…unless you’re putting off shoving your work out there.

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