It’s inevitable, doubt demons will always invade a writer’s creative space. Sometimes, it’s easy to shoo them away, and tell them to go back where they came from. But, most of the time, they stick with us, torture us, bring us to tears, and make us want to run far, far away from our story.
“This isn’t good enough. No one’s going to like it. Look at how ‘so and so’ writes; they’re so much better than you. You’re not going deep enough. What are you thinking? People are going to be so disappointed.”
I find a lot of my doubts come from comparing myself to other writers. It’s so hard not to do, and after talking to many writers/authors, I know I’m not alone.
We need to learn from those we admire, but we shouldn’t put ourselves down because we don’t write like them. We need to take pride in the words we pen. We’ll never reach our goals and dreams if we let other people’s work stifle and scare us from being ourselves in our own writing.
But once doubt creeps in, and worms its way around, rational thinking goes right out the window. At that point, our story is the worst thing ever written and there’s no possible way to make it better.
Yep. Doubt demons suck! They’re scoundrels. They crawl in, take a seat, and make every letter, every word, every sentence, every paragraph a writing hell.
How do we get rid of them? I wish I knew an exact formula, but here are a few things I try:
- Breathe in good thoughts, breathe out bad thoughts. It may sound silly to some, but trust trust me, it works. A little quiet reflection with positive thoughts goes a long way for our mental well-being.
- Take a walk or run. Get your blood pumping. Use the doubt as fuel to get the aggression and negative out.
- Talk to someone who gives you positive feedback, someone who listens with open ears. It doesn’t have to be another writer, just someone who’ll give you a boost. It’s not about being pacified, but about getting support when you need it the most.
- Scream. Get mad. Get it out of your system. Sometimes, peaceful breathing just won’t cut the mustard, and yelling out to the universe is more productive. But once your fit is done, let it go, and do whatever you can to bring yourself back to positive.
- Just keep writing. Never give up.
Bottom line, don’t let the doubt demons win. There are many, many, many writers/authors out there, and guess what, there are many, many, many readers out there, which means your story will have its place and find its reader. Never, ever doubt that.
Until next time…