Purpose of IWSG: to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
To join IWSG visit
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh here.
We all know writing is tough, but the hardest part isn’t getting words on the page or facing writer’s block. It isn’t the one-star reviews or the endless, inevitable rejections. The biggest obstacle to writing is self-doubt.
That half-finished short story or attempt at a poem? That unedited novel tucked away in a drawer? They’re all victims of self-doubt: the insidious little voice inside your head that says, Why bother? You’re not good enough.
How does one battle this all-powerful enemy?
First, don’t listen to the voice. Doubt requires attention to flourish. And if you find you can’t shut out the voice? Talk back. NEVER feed self-doubt.
Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.
Second, if you’re insecure about your work, recruit a trusted friend who you know will give it an honest read through and not be afraid to tell you the unvarnished truth. It might be painful, but learning where you went wrong is invaluable to your growth as a writer.
Everyone learns to write at some point in their life. The difference between writers and the rest of the world is that writers never stop learning. No matter how long we write, we’ll never know everything about our craft. Take pride in learning. Let it feed your confidence not your self-doubt.
Third, revel in your successes. Pride and achievement are brilliant weapons in the fight against self-doubt. Give yourself credit where credit is due. And if self-doubt rears it’s ugly head, go back and reread that passage you nailed yesterday or those glowing comments you received from a critique partner or first reader.
Finally, be patient with yourself. You have stories inside you that only you can tell. Don’t let self-doubt stop you from sharing them.
While there is much in the world of publishing over which writers have little or no say, self-doubt is totally within our control. Don’t allow doubt to erode your confidence and feed your insecurity. Shut out the voice, stay positive, and keep writing!
How do you combat self-doubt?