“I Don’t Know HOW” Challenge as an Indie Author

Eric G Reid
4 min readJan 5, 2024
I Don’t Know HOW

As an indie author, you’re undoubtedly no stranger to the intricate maze of challenges that come with bringing your literary creations to life. While writing, editing, and publishing a book are notable achievements, there’s often a lurking hurdle that can be particularly daunting — the ever-present “I don’t know HOW” mindset.

Let’s delve into this familiar struggle from the perspective of an indie author and explore how to overcome it.

The “I Don’t Know HOW” Dilemma

Picture this scenario: You’re brimming with inspiration and have a clear vision for your next book or an ingenious marketing strategy to expand your readership. Deep down, you have unwavering faith in your ability to accomplish these goals. However, a nagging doubt keeps resurfacing — “I don’t know HOW I’d do that.”

This thought isn’t necessarily rooted in self-doubt; instead, it often stems from the fear of venturing into uncharted territory. As an indie author, you wear multiple hats, transitioning from writer to publisher to marketer. This multifaceted role can be overwhelming, and the “how-to” questions can feel like an insurmountable barrier.

The Significance of the “HOW”

Let’s be clear — understanding “how” to accomplish a goal is undeniably important. It serves as your roadmap, guiding you toward your objectives. However, the issue arises when the quest for the precise “how” becomes a roadblock, hindering your progress. This is a common pitfall for indie authors.

Imagine this: You stumble upon a brilliant strategy to supercharge your email list — an invaluable asset for any indie author. Excitement courses through you as you envision the possibilities, but then, the doubts start creeping in.

“I don’t know which email service to use. How do I navigate the intricate technology? How can I entice readers to subscribe? What about the costs associated with advertising? And crafting engaging emails? I’m uncertain about how to do all of that.”

These concerns are valid and important, but when they accumulate, they can stifle your creative momentum. The fear of not knowing the “how” can deter you from pursuing the strategy, leading to a standstill in your journey as an indie author.

The Commitment-First Approach

Amidst the labyrinth of “how-to” guides and technical intricacies, it’s essential to embrace a fundamental principle that is often overlooked — an invaluable lesson that many indie authors need to internalize: “The how is not for now.”

This means that your primary focus should be on making a resolute commitment to WHAT you want to achieve. You take the plunge into your goals with unwavering determination, and then, as you progress, you tackle the “how” when it’s most relevant. Think of it as embarking on an adventure without knowing every twist and turn of the path.

Drawing parallels to your writing journey, consider this: When you initially embarked on your writing odyssey, you likely had no idea how to craft a novel or spin a captivating story. But you committed to the process, learned along the way, and honed your skills through practice.

Embrace the Indie Author’s Journey

Your path as an indie author is a testament to your resilience and creativity. You’ve ventured into uncharted territories, from self-publishing your book to building your unique brand and readership. The “I don’t know HOW” stumbling block may appear at every corner, whether it’s about book formatting, cover design, or crafting effective marketing strategies.

However, it’s imperative to recognize that your journey is a continuous learning experience. You don’t need to have all the answers at the outset. Instead, take that crucial first step toward your goals, and you’ll discover that the solutions often unveil themselves as you progress.

Reflect on your journey as an indie author and recall the instances when you confronted the unknown. You may not have known “how” to navigate the complex realm of self-publishing when you began, but you learned and adapted.

In fact, some of the most innovative and effective solutions tend to emerge when you’re deeply immersed in the process. It’s the hands-on experience and the willingness to confront challenges head-on that pave the way for your success.

Embracing Technology as an Indie Author

The fear of technology is a common stumbling block for many indie authors. The ever-evolving digital landscape can feel overwhelming. However, as you strive to harness technology to enhance your author’s journey, remember this — you can learn the “how.”

Whether it involves setting up an author website, managing social media platforms, or automating your email marketing, there are abundant resources and supportive communities available to guide you. Embrace the opportunity to learn and adapt, and don’t allow the “I don’t know HOW” mindset to impede your exploration of what’s possible.

In Conclusion: The “How” Can Wait

As an indie author, you possess a unique blend of creativity, determination, and resilience. The “I don’t know HOW” challenge is a common roadblock, but it’s essential to see it for what it truly is — a temporary hurdle that can be overcome.

Always remember, the “how” can wait. Commit to your goals with unwavering determination, and you’ll discover that the solutions and answers often reveal themselves as you progress along your journey. Embrace the unknown, for it’s often within those uncertainties that you’ll uncover your greatest achievements.

Your path as an indie author may be filled with twists and turns, but it’s these very experiences that shape your story and define your success.

Now, as you embark on your journey with newfound clarity, consider taking the next step toward your goals. Reach out to Eric G. Reid, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Skinny Brown Dog Media, for guidance and support in your indie author’s journey.

Contact Eric G. Reid:
Website: SkinnyBrownDogMedia.com

Embrace the unknown, and may your indie author’s journey be filled with boundless creativity and remarkable achievements. Happy writing!

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Eric G Reid

I'm Eric G. Reid, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Skinny Brown Dog Media. My mission: transform aspiring writers into authors, and help them create an impact