to attack. He’s an ugly little bastard, too.
I have a lot of names for him, but for the sake of not overusing
profanity in this blog, I’ll call him by his real name, Self-Doubt.
business, after hitting list that I only dreamed about hitting, I’d have
managed to kill the gremlin. But you’d
be wrong. That sneaky little devil won’t
die. He keeps popping back up.
their careers. And by careers, I don’t
mean from the point that you become a published author, I mean, from the point
you start writing. I think the inability
to fight the gremlin is one of the biggest things that prevent a writer from
becoming published. And it’s probably one
of the reasons published writers stop writing.
That’s right, this monster doesn’t care what you’ve accomplished. All he wants is a big bite out of your
screen is crap. That you just need to
have, it’s probably already been done.
that cleaning out your grout in your kitchen tile with a toothbrush is much
more important. Sometimes he possesses
your family and friends and they’ll say things like, “How long are you going to
put yourself though all this pain before you find something else to do with
your time?” He’ll stare you right in the
eyes and tell you that your dreams are silly and you’ll never reach them. He’ll make you believe that the one negative
review out of twenty good ones is the one you should listen to. If you let him, he not only can slow you down,
he’ll rob you of the joy and passion you feel for writing.
giving you moments of doubt. I think
that’s somewhat normal. But let that
creature scramble up your leg, hang out in your lap, or even worse, let him
climb up on your shoulder, where you can listen to him all day long, and you’ll
soon be playing Russian Roulette with your passion for writing. Because writing with a self-doubt gremlin
sitting on your shoulder is about as easy as brushing your teeth with a brownie
in your mouth.
bay? Below are five tips for overcoming
and preventing self-doubt from chewing on your sanity.
Aware or Peer Pressure.
We preach this to our kids but so
often we forget that the bad habits of the people we hang out with are as
contagious as a stomach virus. If you’re
hanging out with negative people, people who have lost their ability to chase
their dreams, you’re at risk of becoming just like them. Find positive people who validate your dreams
and work ethics to share your life and support your journey.
off the message that you don’t know what you’re doing by continually growing at
a writer. Read how-to books, take
classes, attend those writer meetings and listen to what other writers offer as
someone else. Nothing can inspire you
more than helping and encouraging another person. Telling others that they have to believe in
themselves is a sure fire way or rekindling your own self-confidence. It also creates karma.
leery of ruts. If you’re not feeling the
passion for your writing, try spicing things up by doing something
different. Try writing something in a
new genre, or try writing something in a different point of view. Nothing can get you out of a rut quicker than
that sometimes you are going to fail. That you’re going to make mistakes. That you’re going to get rejections—that it
might take you years to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Understand that
you aren’t the first person to get fifty rejections, or a hundred, or even a
thousand. The truth is, the number of rejections you receive doesn’t
matter. You are not defeated until you
let yourself be defeated.
Chances are, you’ll face those gremlins, not once but many times, so
just be armed with good friends, knowledge, Karma, a sense of adventure, and
perseverance. And never, ever lose your
sense of humor. And now that I’ve shared
with you my tips for slaying gremlins, I’d like to hear some of yours. How do you tackle self doubt?
Times Bestselling Series, Shadow Falls, has had to slay a lot of gremlins on
her climb up on the publishing ladder. After selling her first book in 1993, she
didn’t publish book two until 2006. For
thirteen years she listened to the monster tell her she wasn’t good enough—to
give up. She’s since published thirty
books, and hit the New York Times and USA Today list with both her names.