How to silence the dreaded author self-doubt

We’ve all been there.

That self doubt that every author feels when they write and review their own work.

But when you put your heart and soul into something, it’s not surprising that some strong emotions are stirred up.

So perhaps you’d like a little advice from someone who has been there; someone who has felt exactly the way you do right now?

If so, you’re in the right place.

Writing advice for those with self doubt

Don’t worry if it feels like hard work
If you’re a beginner attempting to write a novel, the first thing to do is to take a step back and appreciate what you’re doing is actually very, VERY hard. If writing novels were easy, everyone would be doing them.

Have a little patience
If you expect a novel to work itself onto the page and be ready to read in a short space of time then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Novel writing takes time – but don’t worry, because if it’s really your passion then it’ll (mostly) be fun too.

Writing advice

Remember, writers are like snowflakes; we’re all different
If you have spoken to other writers only to discover they do things differently to you, don’t be put off. Remember – everyone writes differently. If you don’t want to plan chapter by chapter and only have a loose skeleton of a story, and that works for you, then shoot for the stars. However, if you work better planning chapter by chapter, then take this method and run with it too!

Don’t expect everyone to be as enthusiastic as you
When you’ve worked really hard on a book and present it to others, only for them to promise to read it and put it to one side, it can be upsetting.

But remember, just because they’ve put your work to one side doesn’t mean they don’t care.

The modern world gets busier and busier each day, and your friends and family are all getting swept up in it too. Just remember, your loved ones will get around to reading it (and if not, a nice little push in the right direction won’t hurt), so put that one to one side and start working on your next piece.

Don’t forget to proof, proof and then proof again
When you’re close to a text, it can be easy to miss silly little mistakes. That’s where proofing comes in. Try printing your novel out and editing it on paper, or perhaps take some time away from it and look at it with fresh eyes in a few weeks time. You will notice a difference, as well as those little mistakes that might have gone unnoticed otherwise.

Don’t give up
Writing self doubt
This one has made it onto the list because sometimes, you will want to give up. But don’t. Take a step away, go for a walk, listen to some music. Motivate yourself. If others can do this, why not you? All these successful authors had to start somewhere, right?

And don’t give yourself a hard time either
Sometimes, you’ll open up the document and read through it a bit before declaring that your work is, actually, complete and utter rubbish. All you need to remember when this happens is that it’s not.

It’s natural to have a little self doubt, but those negative voices in the back of your mind really are wrong! Take control back over these thoughts and cast them to one side, you’ll be happy you did when you have a killer novel ready to go.

Writing Tips

There are, of course, many other writing tips that can help you put together that brilliant novel you’ve always dreamed about, or perhaps the next one in your collection.

What are your favourite tips for other writers out there? Feel free to leave a comment below!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Kimber says:

    But Chuck Palahniuk told me we are not beautiful and unique snowflakes. We are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.

    I don’t know. Maybe he didn’t want any competition.


    1. Haha maybe not! But I like his unique point of view 🙂


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