Often, when people write a book, they feel ready to be seen in a bigger way.

Or, just in a big way.

The opposite is also true.

If you are ready to be seen, that might mean you’ve also been “hiding.”

Hiding in this case means nurturing a secret desire but not acting on it.

I’ve met would-be authors who have been hiding for 10, 20, 30 years — or more.

They have an idea they keep to themselves. (Or, maybe they share just with their closest friends).

Then, the moment they take concrete steps to write their book, they encounter obstacles.

Internal obstacles (e.g. negative self-talk) …

… or external obstacles (e.g. schedule conflicts, distractions, etc.)

Truth: obstacles and discomfort happen alongside of the excitement and THRILL of starting.

And because encountering setbacks is not what you expect or WANT to happen, they can throw you off.

zeynep-sumer-lk3F07BN8T8-unsplashIt’s our nature to find ways to be comfortable. And just keep doing whatever that is.

We are wired to do this.

Even if it means missing out on some big desires.

Yet, there was likely some time in your life when you took risks. When you didn’t stay comfortable. 

When you felt uncomfortable, uncertain, or exposed—and yet you pressed forward because you believed it was worth it.

When we’re younger, these risks can feel enlivening. We’re growing and discovering. Finding out who and what we might be.

When we acquire more and more responsibilities, risks can feel too disruptive.

Or too uncertain. Or not worth the hassle.

With writing, the more time that passes without diving into your story or idea—and letting things be messy or uncertain, or different than you hoped—the more you can get trapped in this secret “hiding.”

There’s something that does not feel “worth the risk” anymore.

  • Not worth exposing yourself.
  • Not worth feeling uncertain.
  • Not worth the time it takes to understand the craft and the business.

So—what to do?

Well, the only real cure is to start. Take a leap.

Start when you feel excited. Start when the idea is alive.

Write something, anything.

And if that original excitement and aliveness is decades behind you, then start writing ONE thing that you think about—or talk about—often. See what happens.

Drop any expectations.

Forget “producing” anything. Forget “writing a book.”

For the moment.

  • Get innocent again.
  • Get young again.
  • Get flexible.


Throw all your hopes and doubts out the window.

Give them to the trees, and the grass and the rabbits (or rats, if you’re in NYC).

Give them to the wind and the weather.

Let go of your ambition for 30 minutes.

Instead, just dive in.

You may not realize you’ve been hiding until you start to come out.

To come out, you have to start. Paradox.

But so good!

  • What is your story of hiding?
  • Of coming out of hiding?
  • Of starting— or not starting?

Talk to me! I want to hear your story. Drop me a line here.

Yours in books,

PS Want more? Check out my talk with Paul Zakrzewski, host of The Book I Had to Write podcast, on How First-Time Authors Get Over Resistance. 🤓