Kicking Self Doubt in the Shins

Today I experienced my first real feeling of self doubt regarding my writing. Sure, I’ve felt it before. Felt as though I’m not good enough to do this, but still I plowed on because I can always fix it later, right? But today I read an amazing post at Fantasy Faction giving the advice: “show don’t tell” (read it if you’re getting into writing). It gave some fantastic writing tips and feeling spurred on I loaded up my epic fantasy in Scrivener, went back to the first line and how I could possibly change it to make it flow a lot better using this “show don’t tell” rule and whichever way I look at it, I just draw a blank. Self doubt. I’m not good enough to be a writer.

But never fear, I’m not giving up in the face of self doubt. Writing is my dream and I have too many stories to tell. I need to write them. I need them to be read. Even if only a handful of people read and enjoy them, I’ll have completed my life’s dream.

I’ve just got to take a new approach. See, all along I’ve been blogging to keep myself writing but I’ve come to realise how very different fiction writing and blog writing really is. When I blog, I talk to my readers as though I’m sending an email. Right now, this here, this is me emailing all of you who actually read this blog. Cool huh? But when I write… basically I just haven’t got the hang of it yet. I just try to write down my story even if I struggle with wording because I want to see it whole and complete and figure the rewrites will fix it.

So my new approach? I’m putting my epic fantasy aside. I’m not ready to write something so ambitious yet, and as such I’m picking up my manuscript from last year’s NaNoWriMo win – the so called “dark fairy tale” which is more like a young adult paranormal romance fairy tale. It’s a complete story but it desperately needs a rewrite and some fleshing out – what better way to practise and improve than by picking up a story I have previously put my heart and soul into and seeing where I can improve? And most of all, of course: practising my fiction writing.

How do you pull yourself through the self doubt? This time I’m taking the “it happens, keep going” approach but we can’t always be lucky enough to see it that way.

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