Book Killers by Linda Leigh Hargrove

“You’ve got a book inside you.” Has somebody told you that before? Did it inspire you? Or scare you?

When the galley (aka proof copy) of my first book with Moody Publishers arrived in the mail, I took one look at it, GULPED, and stuffed it back in the envelope.

A frenzied question ran through my mind, “What have I done, God?”

I was scared to death. Later that evening, when the kids were in bed and my hubby was tucked in front of the TV, I pulled the galley back out and looked at it again. It looked like a real book. It WAS a real book. Who was I to think I could have a real book on the shelves of bookstores and libraries? I wasn’t a real writer. I didn’t have any special training. One writing class at the community college didn’t quality someone to have a published novel.

I was going to fail. I was stupid and weak. Didn’t these Chicago publishing people know that? Just plain stupid and weak. And I was going to fail them and everyone one would see my epic failure. I sank to the floor of my home office and sobbed. Doubt and fear and negativity weighing me down.

Despite these initial misgivings, I went on to publish two books with Moody Publishers. The first book (the one I doubted) went into a second printing in 2008 before the second book came out. That was a good sign. Right?

But the 2008 was not a good year for the economy. The housing market suffered. The book publishing market suffered too. My sales plummeted, as did my confidence.

“Why keep writing?” I asked myself. “Who cares about my books?”

For the next several years I stopped writing (and my readership moved on to other books). The ideas kept coming but I did not push past the negative self-talk to put pen to paper. I had killed the books inside me.

Relatively speaking, my readership was small but only one person really controlled the growth of my readership: ME. Readers wanted books. They couldn’t read what I didn’t write.

How about you? What’s killing the books inside you? Is it fear of failure? Or fear of success? Commit today to stop being your best enemy.

Stop being a book killer…

  • Tell people about your book/s
  • Join a support group for writers in your genre
  • Set a daily/weekly/monthly writing goal

Written by Linda Leigh Hargrove from

Books to help overcome these challenges: