Writer’s Doubt: The Fine Line Between Useful & Awful

So in the past two years, my writing has grown and changed exponentially. I joined critique groups and found critique partners that have helped push me to write better prose. But the more my writing improves, the more pronounced my self-doubt becomes… makes a whole lotta sense, right?

Writer’s doubt isn’t exactly anything new. Everyone experiences it at some point, but what separates writers from people who want to write is how we deal with that doubt.

Writers take that doubt and turn it into fuel to write better stories. People who want to write let that doubt stop them from doing so.

Here’s the thing. A healthy amount of doubt keeps us humble and challenges us to do better. “Is this dialogue really necessary?” “Does this metaphor actually do what it’s suppose to?” “Am I actually portraying the right sentiment here?”

Those are useful questions when editing your manuscript.

“What the F am I doing with my life?” “No one could possibly love my stories.” “Why am I wasting my time with day dreams?”

Those are NOT helpful.

God’s honest truth: I’ve never asked whether I should stop writing. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had super crippling self-doubt. Had a fit of it last night actually. It was to the point where it felt like a vice on my heart. It sucked.

It was also NOT helpful.

I don’t think I could stop writing even if I wanted to. My characters and their stories would somehow separate one of my ribs and use it as a battering ram to get out (gruesome picture, I know). So the unhelpful self-doubt is nothing more than a painful annoyance that likes to make a fuss when it feels forgotten.

But when that happens, you just have to write through it. I know that’s easier said than done. But take that anxiety and turn it into words.

Rocking out to Florence and the Machine and Sia helps… that may just be me…

Happy Writing

2 thoughts on “Writer’s Doubt: The Fine Line Between Useful & Awful

  1. You are so right Bree! I have those crippling moments far too often myself, but I can’t stop writing, ever. It actually hurts to take a break if it is unwanted or slightly too long. You’re also right about the fine line between the useful self criticism and the not useful kind. It’s great that we want to improve, it’s not so great that sometimes we hurt our own feelings with our harshness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Spotlight Saturday #1|Weekly Feature | A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly

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