How to Stop Trying to Please Everyone and Just Write

Do you want to please everyone with your writing? Do you feel pressure from expectations other people put on you? If you’ve had enough, and you’re ready to just chuck it all out and write for the sheer love of it, this one’s for you.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I told my dad about the writing I was doing. I was writing articles, turning them into books, and actually getting paid to write. 

How cool is that?

“That’s good, son. It’s a nice hobby you’ve got there, but don’t expect to make a living at it.”

My cheeks got hot as blood rushed into my face.

Okay, sure. I’m not making a living at it yet. But people are buying my work. I mean, they’re shelling out pocket change but so freaking what. What’s more important is they’re buying my message.

Society’s Rules and How They Crush Us

It’s tough to be a man.

Everybody tells you a host of things you’re expected to do. If you don’t, you suck as a man. 

Here’s a horrible handful:

            ●Be strong and suck it up.

            ●If you fail, you’re a loser.

            ●You must provide for all your family’s financial needs.

            ●Never let people see you sweat.

            ●Don’t expect to make a living from what you love.

It makes me mad that I even have to write these down.

Maybe you feel them, too. Moms have lots of demands on them too, don’t they?

             ●Keep baby’s diapers clean.

             ●Do all the dishes, the laundry, and keep the house spotlessly clean.

             ●Have time to write the greatest novel ever because you’ve “got all the free time in the world”. (Yeah, right)

             ●Never run out of ideas because moms have stories happening around them all the time.

             ●Have fun with your writing hobby, but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

It’s time all this nonsense came to an end. Let’s look at each of these 5 myths and blow the lid off every one of them.

It’s time all this nonsense about pleasing everyone came to an end. Let’s look at each of these 5 myths and blow the lid off every one of them.

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Myth #1 - Be strong and suck it up.

As a man, this is a tempting devil. 

We all want to win. It’s like it’s in our DNA. Then these inspirational football movies come out and make us feel more guilty than we already do. 

I think Vince Lombardi got it right when he said:

“Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.”

You’re not always going to take home first prize. It’s great if you can, but here’s what’s greater - the will to win will take you further than trying to please people ever will. 

If you’re going to be strong about something, make it your convictions. What are you willing to stand for regardless of what others think? What do people need to hear that may ruffle their feathers first, but transform them afterward?

Hold on to that. It’s your calling crying out to you. Yield to it and your pain will have purpose.

Myth #2 - If you fail, you’re a loser.

Shame and guilt are gifts that just keep on giving.

And don’t people love to use shame and guilt to manipulate you? 

Zig Ziglar said some words that literally set me free from ever being crippled by a setback:

“Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night. Today is a brand new day, and it’s yours.”

One mistake doesn’t have to define you forever. Did you wrote your heart out on a story and hit submit - and heard the deafening sound of silence in response? 

So what.

I recently had someone send me not one, but two emails telling me how much she thought my writing sucks.

I just chalked it up to taste - and moved on.

Don’t ever let one, ten, or even a hundred failures stop you from writing what’s in your heart. Learn from it, make a few adjustments, and press on.

Myth #3 - You’re responsible for everything.

This one hits men and women - especially when they have kids. 

I want to impress everyone with your kids’ superpowers because everyone else on Facebook is doing it. It’s like a big one-upper contest that never ends. 

You publish your book and of course, you’ve got to tell everyone on social media! (I get it, I’ve done it, too!) But since so many others are doing it too, you feel like you’ve got to kill yourself to get your book the attention it deserves.

Then there’s the diapers, the dishes, and the bills.

It’s a crushing burden that can always feel like the ceiling is closing down on you, inch by inch. 

Just do the best you can. Learn what matters. And say no to everything else.

The relief will be so real you’ll feel like you moved to Paradise!

Myth #4 - Never let people see you sweat.

If you don’t believe this is true, just ask someone how they’re doing. 

What will they say 999,999 times out of a million?




In other words, I don’t want to talk about it.

We’ve been sold this lie that to be vulnerable is to be weak. But honestly, to be vulnerable is to be human. 

We’ve been sold this lie that to be vulnerable is to be weak. But honestly, to be vulnerable is to be human.

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I don’t have it all together. Your heroes don’t either. They selectively give you a peek at their lives and you think, 

“Oh man, if I could be like that, what couldn’t I do?”

That’s when your inner critic starts handing you excuses why you can’t.

Don’t compare your apples to someone else’s oranges. Don’t compare your kindergarten to someone else’s PhD. Learn what you do best. Be audacious about it. Then you’ll find that place in the world where you were born to fit.

And go ahead and let people see you struggle. They’ll love you for it - and they’ll find hope in your story.

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Myth #5 - Don’t expect to make a living from your hobby. 

This is nothing but a mindset challenge. 

You write because you love it. Am I right? In fact, I bet you’d do it even if you never got paid a cent.

Just do me and yourself one favor.

Don’t say it’s impossible to make it as a writer. 

Why is this so important? 

Because you act based on what you believe.

If you believe you can make it as a writer, you’ll act as if it’s true. You’ll be honest enough with yourself to admit what you don’t know, get the help you need, and do whatever you must to make your dreams come true. 

Don’t just believe other people who say you can’t make it. Are they even writers? Have they tried to do what you’re doing? What right do they have to tell you how to live your life?

It’s far better to test your own assumptions in the world to see what’s true, and what’s a myth.

Now Go Write Away

You get one shot at life. 

Dig deep, write often, and share your gift with the people you’re called to touch with your genius.

I’m rooting for you!

Do This Now:

               ●Write something you’ve put off because you’re scared.

               ●Pitch the biggest blog or publication in your niche - and do it boldly.

               ●Start working on that novel, even if you only write a few paragraphs or even just one sentence a day.

Like what you read? Spread this around. Got questions? Let’s talk in the comments. Let’s put these myths behind us and change the world - one reader at a time. 


Frank McKinley is a published Author, teacher, and entrepreneur. When he’s not writing, he enjoys coffee and conversation. Visit him HERE.

10 thoughts on “How to Stop Trying to Please Everyone and Just Write

  1. Thank you for stopping by and reading this! Which point resonated with you most? Where do you still struggle and need help? Hit me up in the comments and let’s talk! And if you’ve overcome the desire to please everyone, share your story. You might just change someone’s life forever!

    1. Hey! Just came across this today even though it seems like you wrote it a few months ago and realized that you were responding on pubchat a few nights ago. (My twitter is vsaphir in case you were wondering). I saw your awesome impression of tweety bird. Anyways, lol fantastic article. Everything was true that ive been feeling about my own writing.

      1. Thanks, Rachel! There’s a lot of forces out there trying to keep us from writing – and enjoying doing it. It’s time we stood up to those agents of the Resistance and push ourselves to do what we’re here to do – write the message our lives have given us.

        Ah, yes. Tweety. Can you tell I watched Looney Tunes every Saturday morning when I was young?

      2. Thanks, Rachel! It’s our calling to pushba against the resistance we all feel as writers. Most of what holds us back are lies we tell ourselves.

        Let’s focus on the truth instead. We need your wisdom. So be generous and share it.

        Yeah, I watched a lot of cartoons when I was young.

  2. Loved this! You’re so right about the weight of expectations on both men & women. Both my husband and I are writers and both of us struggle with myth #2 “If you fail, your a loser.” Writers constantly have to deal with rejection, it’s just part of the writer life. But when you think the rejection means “I’m no good at this; I’m a loser,” it can easily put a halt to a writing career. In fact, I think it’s the #1 reason I’ve barely gotten my writing career off the ground even though I’ve wanted to be a writer all my life. But, fortunately, I’m working through it! Some of these beliefs we have about ourselves can be so powerful and so devastating. Thanks for this post!

    1. Thanks, Sarah!

      It’s hard not to take it personally when your work is rejected. Here’s a great way to feel the pain, deal with it, and move on. Tell yourself, “I’ll be upset about this for two hours. When 5 o’clock comes, I’ll stop.”

      It’s the best of both worlds. After all, we’re only human. We bleed when we’re pricked. But we don’t have to keep bleeding forever.

      Keep up the good work of writing, and we’ll see your name in lights one day!

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