Knowledge matters - but it's knowledge applied that will change your life. My point is, indie writers have it extremely lucky today because the information you need to succeed is already at their fingertips. It's there for anyone and everyone to use - but that's the thing. Your life - your career - won't change until you take the necessary steps to apply those changes.
I admit to being unable to understand why some people don't apply what they've learned to their lives. However, for this post I'm going to try placing myself in their shoes and see if I can figure out where they're coming from - and what they need to do to make those all-important changes.
Fear of change
You know that when you apply certain changes to your work, your life is going to change with it. Those changes - whatever they are - are terrifying for you for some reason. But be honest with yourself. Are those changes that bad? Also, weigh your options - which matters to you more: avoiding those changes or succeeding in writing? Because those changes you fear are your opportunity costs. You can't have it all. Something's always gotta give.
Fear of failure
If you don't try, no one can say you failed. But consider the other side of the coin - if you don't try, you can't ever say you succeeded either. And trust me, failure is vastly overrated. Failure WILL NEVER be able to ruin you unless you allow it. It's only extremely painful the first time around, but when you get used to it, you'll be able to shrug it off and move on. You'll learn to see it as a learning experience and even though failure will always sting, the pain will get bearable because you know it's part of life.
Fear of discrimination
You refuse to write steamy stories because you're worried about what other people would say. You don't want to write mainstream because you feel it won't be considered literature by your peers. I get where you're coming from, but what I don't get is why you're letting what other people say stop you from writing what you really want. Use a pen name if you have to, but just start writing what you want.
Fear of going broke
This is a very specific fear that could fall under #1 (change) or #2 (failure) but I thought it deserves special mention anyway. Some of you may think that embracing your career as a writer could put you at financial risk. I understand. That was my fear, too, but I took the risk and it paid off. However, I wouldn't have been able to take that risk if I didn't have a partner who supported my decision. He was the one who footed the bills during the months I hadn't been able to contribute financially.
I'm not saying that you should find a partner to do this for you, too, obviously. :D But it would be great if you do have one of course. If you think writing full-time is the only way for you to succeed (in my case it was) then so be it. However, you can also mitigate the risks you'd be taking by planning well ahead of time.
I'm going to refer you to Sha Nacino's Money and Me if this is one of your fears. Some of you may have noticed how I recommend this book frequently. Please note that I do not know the author personally and I am not paid to recommend her book. But I really believe in her book and even though I only read it after I had quit my day job and was earning from self-publishing, I still found her book very motivating and enlightening. I could see how it would have helped ME if I had read it before I had quit and consequently, I could see how it would also help writers thinking of quitting their day jobs to write full-time.
When browsing the Internet, I frequently come across people saying they just don't have enough time to do this or that - things that have to do with their ability to achieve their goals in writing. They already KNOW what they NEED to do. They just don't have the time to APPLY the knowledge.
If you're in the same boat, then you should realize time is not your enemy here. It's yourself. You are the master of your time and not the other way around. You're the one with the power to decide what to do with your day and you're the one who chose not to do what you had to do to succeed.
This is an excuse. You may not realize it, but it is. If you really want to succeed in writing then you must make time for it. The same goes for anything you want out of life, really. Time is one of your greatest resources, and you must learn how to effectively allocate it.