Cameron Diaz's Writing Advice Is Just What You Need To Hear This NaNoWriMo

Releasing your first book into the world sounds terrifying — but I never would have guessed that even famous movie stars would be as nervous as the rest of us at the idea. When Cameron Diaz talked about publishing her first book, however, her words were so relatable. Apparently even big-name celebrities get scared that people won't like them.

At her sister-in-law Nicole Richie's Pearl xChange event, Diaz opened up about her feelings before publishing The Body Book: Feed, Move, Understand and Love Your Amazing Body in 2013 — and it sounds like her nerves were pretty intense. "I was on my back for a week," she admitted. "I couldn't breathe."

As an actor, Diaz has always been super-confident, but being a first-time writer was a whole new experience for the star. "I've never had that kind of thing where I was just literally debilitated. I realized I was just so scared that I was going to put this thing into the world and everybody’s going to see me, and what if they don’t like me? What if they think I’m crazy or I’m stupid? I was like, oh God, this is so painful," she told the crowd at the event — and I totally get why it felt different. Writing a book is totally different to following a script with someone else's words (though I wouldn't have the confidence to do either!) — and to Diaz, putting her own words out there was a lot more nerve-wracking. "It was revealing about who I was. Movies are like totally fake. It’s not me at all. It is, but they’re characters. This book was all me. There was no hiding. I was so open and so raw."

This summer, Diaz summoned up her courage once again and released her second book, The Longevity Book: the Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time. Hopefully, the process was a little less scary after the incredible success of her first book, but it still must have taken some guts to open up all over again. And it sounds like Diaz learned some invaluable lessons from the whole thing, too. At the Pearl xChange event, Cameron Diaz closed her inspirational speech by encouraging the audience to look for true success within themselves, with these wonderfully wise words: "You have to forget about what success is to everybody else, and you have to know what success is to you."

Image: camerondiaz/Instagram