Monday, February 20, 2012

{motivation} Curing Self-Doubt


Sometimes I have dark thoughts like these...

What am I doing? I can't write a book.

This plot is crud.

I will never figure out how to write the kind of book I like to read.

{Insert talented writing friend's name} is way better than me. I'll never be as good as them.

This is a waste of my time.

Look at all the writers younger than me who are successful!

I should have figured this out by now.

{Insert brilliant book just read} was amazing. It was tense and fabulous and I couldn't put it down. I will never be able to write a book like that.

My book is rotten.

What if I put all these years into this and I never get it right?


Sometimes I am such an Eeyore, eh?

Now, don't worry too much. I am not always a wretched, gloomy and miserable creature who is in danger of finding a parapet to throw myself off of.

However, there are times these damaging thoughts creep into my brain like ugly self-doubting bacteria latching onto an open wound. Hmmmmmm, that paints a lovely picture.

The other night I started getting down after I struggled to rewrite a chapter. I'm rewriting huge chunks of my novel. And it's hard. It's so difficult to let myself write those stinky drafts of chapters and scenes.

Then I remembered a quote I read awhile back. It was something like, "We compare ourselves at our worst to others at their best." (found on Pinterest, of course)

Oh! How this applies to writing! Don't we do that? Don't we look at our favorite books and then compare our rough drafts to them? Are we nuts? Of course our stinky drafts aren't as good as a polished shiny edited piece of writing. But it's up to us to get them there. And if we let our self-doubt stop us, then we never will.

"Change your thoughts and you'll change your world." Isn't that brilliant?

I need to change my thoughts. I need to remind myself...

I am a good writer.

I love my WIP.

I love the world and the characters and the creatures I'm creating.

I love the plot.

I chose to have a large family and I am so so happy with that. My family brings me massive quantities of joy (also included are massive quantities of laundry, dishes and boogers wiped on random surfaces. Gross. I know.) I also choose to spend a lot of time playing, crafting, cooking and simply being together with my monkeys. And this is perfect for me. So, no, I am not as successful as many writers who are younger than me and chances are, they have less or no children. And that's okay. I have my own pace to go.

I have grown as a writer. I can see where I started and I can see where I am. Yes, I have a ways to go, I have a destination in mind, but I am happy with what I have accomplished and the direction I'm headed.

I know I can do this. I know I can learn how to write these books in my head so they will grab readers like they've grabbed me.

It's up to me to make the time for this. It's up to me to work at this until I get it right. And if I choose to do it. Then I will. If I choose to doubt. Then I won't. But all the same, it's up to me.


.Attitude  j k rowling a better me trying.   

inspirationI love this quote Mistakes

Last, one of my very favorites...


So, what about you? How do you cure the self-doubt?


  1. I love all those quotes. I love reading your blog so I know you're a good writer. A novel just takes a lot more work (and knowing your crazy life I'm impressed you find time to work on it!). You'll get it done and you'll be so proud of yourself for doing it! Just push through those doubts - they don't let the new ideas come into your mind. I'll be expecting you to sign my copy when your book is done. :)

  2. Good thoughts. You are creating the best story with your own life and from that, other amazing stories will flow from your heart and pen, or keyboard.

  3. I was just thinking about this the other day actually. A positive outlook on things does wonders. I'm not the greatest writer ever, and most of the time I just worry about being able to finish a project. Often I have to remind myself of this very same thing. And it works! It totally works!

  4. I've had this issue as well. The solution I've finally settled on is spending so much time working on my writing that I don't have the time or mental energy left over to doubt myself.

  5. Ah....the "This sucks and I'm a horrible writer" syndrome. It's easy to get caught feeling that way when I'm writing - I always just tell myself that it's okay - if I keep writing, my writing will get better. Then once I've let a chapter sit for a while, if I go back and read it, usually I'm pleasantly surprised to find that what I thought was terrible actually wasn't all that bad.