When Doubt Rears Its Ugly Head…

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

Suzy Kassem

I’ve been super focused on writing my first draft for the past couple of months that I’ve not had a chance to update my blog. But today I’ve had an overwhelming feeling of doubt creep its way in to my mind and writing, and I finally have a post worth sharing.

What do you do when you look at your writing, whether it’s a few lines, a whole chapter or the entire WIP, and you start having a load of uncomfortable thoughts as to if it’s worth continuing?

Questions like, Will anyone enjoy reading my book? Am I actually any good at this writing stuff or am I just chasing non-existent potential? What if I’m just wasting my time writing a book that might be totally rubbish? Do I sound utterly stupid?

*Sigh*

Honestly, I think many writers (especially first time writers) have these doubts, but what’s key is what they do when it strikes. Do they stop working on that specific project and start something new? Do they give up on writing completely? Or do they keep going, regardless of the crappy doubt they might be experiencing?

Personally, I try to write through it. Even though these annoying questions niggle at me some days (sometimes 2 or 3 consecutive days) whilst I type and read through what I’ve written so far, I know there are a larger number of days where I feel like it’s going great, it’s flowing and I’m having so much fun writing the story. So, I keep going.

And, hey, if it’s a badly written first draft, that’s okay. At least I’ll have something to work with. And if it’s just a rubbish story and never gets published, then I guess that’s okay too (*shed a silent tear*) because it’s my first attempt at writing a novel and I’ll improve with practice.

Doubt can feel debilitating, I know, but one way I try to beat it is by countering the questions that arise with positive answers. For example: It’s a story I wanted to tell and I enjoy writing it. I love writing and even if I’m not amazing at it right now, I can get better as long as I don’t give up. Forget what anyone else thinks, I’m writing for me.

And most importantly, I have to remind myself, as I’m sure many other writers do… It’s still the first draft. As Shannon Hale said, “I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

Keep going 🙂

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