You wanna know something that kind of boggles my mind? Almost everyone I meet tells me they want to write a book and yet, almost all of those people feel some kind of embarrassment about the fact that they really don’t know how.

No they don’t come right out and say it, but as I listen to their comments I can often hear what’s really going on beneath the surface. I truly think that most people who are successful in business or who have mastered some other kind of skill believe that writing should come naturally to them, because it’s just—writing. After all, they do it every day, from writing emails to writing social media updates or even writing articles and blog posts. They SHOULD know how to write a book.

This in itself is a huge misconception. Writing a book is different than any other writing you’ve done in the past. It’s perfectly normal that you don’t really know where to start or what to include in your book.

You have a lack of confidence where you feel you should have confidence and that’s embarrassing. And it leads aspiring authors to make three very big mistakes.

Three of the Biggest Mistakes Aspiring Authors Make When Writing a Book

1. Waiting for inspiration. You tell yourself that the real problem is that inspiration has yet to come to you and so you wait. And Wait. And wait. I’ve made this mistake myself. Because inspiration is elusive you think that you need do nothing for it to appear. But the truth is that inspiration comes to those who work for it first. Start writing daily and suddenly ideas will be abundant.

2. Copying other writers’ structure and style. I have to admit I made this mistake when I first started writing my book. While it’s great to research how other writers approach their craft, it’s disastrous to try to be someone else. Every writer has their own unique style and you will just have to find yours. It’s okay if you don’t know your style right now. Practice writing daily in order to find it.

3. Asking for feedback from someone who’s never written a book. Okay, this one really bothers me, but I know why people do it. If you need a little validation or support you’ll be tempted to ask your friends and family for feedback. You might pitch them your idea for a book or even have them read a chapter you’ve written. Maybe you believe that because they love you they would never try to hurt you. While that may be true, your friends and family are not qualified to give you advice. The only people you should be listening to are actual authors who have written and published a book.

Everyone has opinions, but that’s not what you want. You want insight that will help you grow as a writer. My advice (as a published author) is to join a group where you have access to a professional coach. It will set you on the fast track.

Don’t be embarrassed that you haven’t written your book yet or you don’t know what to say or how to say it. Like anything else, writing takes practice and you would be better off learning from a professional.