Overcoming Doubt As a Writer



I’ll be honest. I’ve been struggling with doubt quite a bit lately, especially as the writing conference is getting closer. It is only a week and a half away, and I am wondering if I am just a total wingnut for doing this. As remedy for the unwelcome invasion of writer’s doubt that seems to be making itself at home in me, I’ve written a few thoughts on doubt.

Perhaps you struggle with doubt in your writing, as well. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you are a picture of confidence. Congrats. If that’s the case, this is just for me then.

1) Doubt is inevitable. It may sound obvious, but the sooner we can embrace the fact that doubt is part of the writing life, the more we are ready to handle it when it comes. The most successful people in the world wrestle demons of doubt everyday. Why not me? Why not you?

2) Doubt is a positive sign. If you are exposing yourself in any way through art, doubt will be right there to shout you down. Doubt just may be a sign that you are doing something worthwhile, and if that’s the case, by golly, bear down and get it done! It may be hard, but it will be worth it.

3) Doubt can be harnessed. In my mind, this is the best part about doubt. It does not have to defeat you. You can let those voices in your head become the fuel for improvement. You will prove them wrong. You are proving them wrong every time you sit down at your desk and hammer out another 1,000 words.

One of the best blogs out there (in my humble opinion) that deals with the topic of doubt in the writing life is Bryan Hutchinson’s blog The Positive Writer. There are many great posts on the topic, and he even wrote a book called Writer’s Doubt. How fitting!

So how about you? When was the last time doubt crept into the midst of your writing? How did you deal with it? Feel free to leave a comment!



9 thoughts on “Overcoming Doubt As a Writer

  1. steve

    Great post. Doubt comes up often in writing sermons also. Keep at it. Love your book and blog recommendations you reference.

  2. I’m in a constant state of doubt about writing. It helps me to remember the positive comments I’ve received over the years. I also give myself a swift kick in the ass when necessary that brings me back to my senses.

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