For every five academic articles and reviews I pitched to journals, I wrote…

by | May 10, 2023 | Business Lessons, Chapter Eight, Content Creation, Self Sabotage | 0 comments

…Maybe one.


Were you expecting the brave story of the author who sent out 100 articles, only to finally have one accepted? I was not that brave.

I was not writing one only because one was accepted – I’m only talking here about the ones that were accepted. I’m saying that high value international journals were willing to print my work and then I ghosted them and never wrote it. 

I’d pretend to myself I was going to write them. Maybe I even believed it sometimes. Collect up some notes… add it to my bio as “in prep.”  Push the deadline back. Back. Back. 

Real talk, I was so crippled by imposter syndrome, I couldn’t bring myself to write them. I was the ultimate frozen deer in the blinding, burning, torturous headlights of the possibility people would see my work. Part of me was terrified it wouldn’t be good enough. Another part was equally terrified it would be and, would attract toxic people and situations back into my life.

So, even when my research was award nominated or even award winning, I still couldn’t write the articles (maybe especially then).

Even though I knew virtually nobody would ever read them because… academia… I still couldn’t write them


Even although, I’d actually already one time been featured topless in an exposé by the Sun (consequence of one of my former business adventures) and completely survived it, I still couldn’t write them. 

Even though Stephen Hawking demonstrated that good academics are willing to refute their own work, which means literally starting every day willing to prove yourself wrong, I loved that and I believed him, I still couldn’t write them. 

I was terrified. My work and my ‘self’ felt like the same thing. My sense of worth was tied to how others eventuated, not only my work and work products, but the people and situations around me. There seemed like no way I could possibly win because either I would fail trying, or I would succeed and reveal the secrets I’d spent most of my life hiding. My whole body lived in hyper-vigilance, scanning for damning evidence that people were onto me for being an imposter and because I was looking for it, I assumed others were too.

It always went like this: I would send out a pitch and, some time later, get back this brief momentary high of recognition when it was accepted. A feeling of worthiness; significance; belonging. A teeny, tiny party dance with a chaser of immediate terror that I didn’t deserve it… I wasn’t actually good enough… they’d find out I was an imposter if I actually wrote the whole article. It was surely just a fluke they accepted it in the first place. If it wasn’t a fluke and it did get published, only bad things could possibly happen. Panic.  

Even although I was already published. Since I was 8. Over the years I had collected up multiple published formats including poetry, short fiction, journalism and academic writing. Laugh or cry with/at me if you want, but I was even already an editor for three biannual publications – one of which I also founded (and we had a team of 10 amazing postgraduates on that team). But I was riddled with doubt, fear, and insecurity.

I know, I know… that doesn’t make ANY sense.


Not even one bit. But fear is fear and who ever said it was rational? 

Tuesday last week found me sitting on the train, coming up for 6 years since I submitted my doctoral thesis, and just over 4 since founding this business. I’d just finished a cosy train-riding morning of re-reading 20+ of my magazine and newspaper articles that collectively reached a total audience of over 162 million readers over the past 18 months. Most of whom saw the one about my background as a stripper because obviously, that would be the most popular one. Obviously.  

But you know what, I loved everything I read that day. Yes, there were typos. But I forgive myself for all of them. Actually, that’s also an editorial issue and I forgive the editors too. Instead of focusing on what was “wrong” with each one, I made notes on them from topics for video content and written posts, emails to send and even future articles to pitch. On the front page of many of them I’ve written things like “great example – come back to this!” 

The whole morning reminded me of when I used to sit and mark undergraduate essays on the train, only this time every paper was written by me and, I gave everything an A+ for effort. Because whatever else, I DID THE THING. 

Not just did. I do the thing. I am the person who does the thing. This is my life now.

Every week amazing entrepreneurs are half-writing posts and deleting them… completing writing, editing for a day, then never actually quite getting around to posting… posting and then almost immediately deleting… writing, posting and then getting one troll comment, and then… yep, you guessed it – deleting.

If you’re anything like them, you’re wondering what happened? Right? How did I go from the ultimate academic delete-a-holic to confidently writing for millions of eyes?  

Especially when you find out I didn’t take a single writing class in that time (actually, I’ve taught bunch though, to hundreds of undergraduates, postgraduates and entrepreneurs). 

Here are some things that did change:

1. I broke up with procrasti-fectionism

That double-edged sword is the weapon of an internal trauma bond between you and you. It’s wielded by the voice that says “you’re not ready, you’re not worthy and you will NEVER be good enough… and while we’re at it, you’re too…” 

You get the picture. That voice that invalidates us from within feels like it’s speaking truth, but it’s not. It’s running a model of the worst that we’ve internalised about ourselves and using it against us to try and keep us safe from someone else doing it. But here is the deal – other people (at least the vast majority) aren’t out there waiting to tear you down. They’re caught in their own stuff, and they’d LOVE you to shine your light and help them out of there. 

Breaking up with procrastination and perfectionism meant writing much more quickly, intuitively and embracing self-trust in my life and my writing. Part of that is letting go much sooner; I absolutely send things as soon as they’re done and then edit them once the button is pressed. That way there’s no take-backsies, and I have a very defined limitation on editing time. 

In real terms, this change took me from pitching articles I would never write, to writing 5,000-10,000 words easily in a day with my doctoral thesis and, writing my entire international no.1 bestseller in just 17 days. Spending just a few days editing each of those, rather than years. 

2.  I realised I had to find myself worthy

I had to ditch all the old stories of not being qualified and to decide that I was already enough, good enough and brave enough to take action. What that really meant was loving myself as I am. Backing myself. This came as one incredible truth: your only “job” is to work on your worth. Your energy. Yourself. You finding you worthy. That’s the work. When you do it, your other “work” and “work products” easily take care of themselves and are immediately more valuable. Very few people in life will have the integrity to value you more highly than you do. So you have to be prepared to commit to finding yourself worthy right from the get go. 

3. Failing forwards

I had to embody the willingness to make a mistake. Holding the idea isn’t enough. Knowing it’s necessary, isn’t enough. You have to be willing to be in it. Sharing something which turns out to be in some way incorrect, doesn’t make me wrong as a person. Or you. It’s just a factual error or an opinion that needs to be updated when new information presents itself. Everyone who does anything long enough will eventually be wrong because the world is always changing, growing and learning. Being wrong is like breathing air and drinking water; if you want to live fully, you’ve really got no option. 


Dr. Morgana

Dr. Morgana McCabe Allan


There’s always more to LEARN

And here’s just a few starting points…

“I’m sharing a win, I made more money this week in my business than on any other offer last year. And it was so easy. This money river is flowing today! I’m only $700 away from hitting my new monthly goal and it’s only the 2nd of the month!”

Elena Saxton

Coach for Artisans

Morgana McCabe Allan is incredibly wise yet personable, revolutionary yet relational, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be coached through mindset calls with her. I will be hearing her words in my head for years to come!

Danielle Bettmann

Host of Failing Motherhood Podcast

“I signed my first client!! {…} I showed up on the call fully present, gave her everything I could and I told her I want to offer her a 3 month package where I will honour the free sessions I had posted about within the price point. And she signed up! 🙂 “