How to Conquer Your Doubts
“At one point, I started to doubt my message. And I actually had to take a break from writing for a bit to kind of recalibrate and ask myself, Okay, what do I actually want with this book?” —Kristal Lau
The moment you finish the first draft of your manuscript, you enter an incredibly vulnerable period as an author. Even though we writers have done what many people wish they could do, it’s still terrifying because it’s an internal feat and now we need to figure out the next steps. Kristal Lau is a medical doctor with two young children who has wanted to write a book for many years. She decided she needed accountability and direction, so she joined one of our “Authors Who Lead” coaching groups and has not only finished her book but is currently publishing it.
In this episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk with Kristal Lau about her journey writing her book, Postpartum 30: Thirty Days to a Nurtured Fourth Trimester, her fears and struggles along the way, and how it transformed her personally and professionally.
Conflict with Combining Cultures
After Kristal had her first baby, she wanted to document how she combined her traditional Chinese–Malaysian postpartum practice of “confinement” with the Western philosophies that she had studied and practiced as a physician. “Confinement” is a term for the month of rest after a mother has her baby. When she started putting together a scrapbook to use for her second pregnancy, Kristal decided that she’d rather write a proper book so that she could share it with other mothers who were trying to balance cultures.
Kristal struggled writing her book because her medical training at times seemed to conflict with her cultural expectations about how to go through the “confinement” or what is also considered the “fourth trimester.” As she reflected on her medical practice in Australia, she realized, “[I] should be able to take my cultural background with this postpartum recovery, practice the confinement, and kind of blend it or make it work with the modern mom’s needs and wants.” This realization helped her find a blend of both cultures that worked for her and many other moms that she was in contact with.
Kristal feared both success and failure with the launch of her book. With success, she wondered, “If the book is really successful, I’m afraid of what’s to come after that.” And on the other hand, Kristal realizes that not every person is going to be your fan, so what do you do with critics and people that try to tear you down? In this podcast episode, I give her advice to deal with both of these types of situations. I’m thankful that Kristal was transparent with her fears because many of us authors have similar worries.
First of all, I want Kristal and all authors to remember that most critics are often triggered by your success or are dealing with doubts themselves. The best advice when you get negative reviews is to not read them. But if you do read them, you shouldn’t respond to them. As I advise Kristal, “Their reaction isn’t a cause for you to take action.” I personally don’t want to give negative people my energy. Save your energy for the people that want your help.
In this podcast, Kristal also shares with us:
- That you have the choice to react to critics or ignore them
- How writing her book kept Kristal sane and gave her a purpose
- How positive affirmations can help against criticism and imposter syndrome
- Why every author should make a list of their accomplishments and celebrate them!
- How to claim your expertise and authority by reminding yourself that you have something valuable to share
- That writing a book first transforms the author, then the reader
- How writing a book can transform your career and goals
- That done is better than perfect
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? What are your biggest fears with writing your book? Share in the comments below!
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay—take action.
Get a copy of Kristal’s book here:
Postpartum 30: Thirty Days to a Nurtured Fourth Trimester