15 Reasons You Haven’t Written a Bestselling Book Yet

5. You’re too focused on what a bestseller “looks like” instead of just trying to write a good story you can be proud of.

1. You’re still figuring out which story is the “right one” for you to tell right now.

2. You’re not quite ready to call your work-in-progress “finished.” And that’s okay!

3. Life keeps getting in the way … which might just mean other things need to take priority over your writing right now. This is also okay.

4. You keep trying to start writing stories but always abandon them before you’ve finished. (Learning how to finish what you start takes practice and experience — you’ll get there!)

5. You’re too focused on what a bestseller “looks like” instead of just trying to write a good story you can be proud of. You have to start somewhere!

6. Maybe you’ve written/published a great book already that wasn’t a bestseller — just because it isn’t a bestseller doesn’t mean it’s a “bad” book!

7. The perfectionist in you isn’t making it very easy to even get one story done. (It happens!)

8. You’re going to write a lot of book drafts before you ever truly “finish” writing a book.

9. And you’re also going to write a lot of books before you publish one.

10. Hey — you might even publish a lot of books before you earn a bestseller. If you ever do.

11. You’re trying too hard to “one-up” yourself every time you write something. Just focus on getting the words out and see what you can do with them later.

12. You’re afraid your book won’t be “good enough.”

13. You’re afraid of failing.

14. You keep comparing yourself to other writers and are convinced you’ll never “be like them.”

15. You’re just not quite at “that” level yet. But that doesn’t mean you never will be!


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.


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3 thoughts on “15 Reasons You Haven’t Written a Bestselling Book Yet

  1. Thanks, Meg.
    #11 is good, but some bestselling writers forget it and go on to publish substandard books in an attempt to finish them too soon. A book takes as much time as it takes, and if it’s not at the top of the charts, that’s all right. Writers learn by writing just as they learn by practicing any activity.

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