If you’re a writer who doesn’t occasionally sink into depressing doubt about your ability to produce anything above the level of drivel, then you’ve only been writing for about an hour or your ego is mountain-high and wide as the sky. I’ve dipped into that well myself, and re-visit from time to time on a fairly random basis, but I also know we all do it. And we can bounce back.
I found a really good article today by Clayton Noblit on Written Word Media about handling writer’s doubt. I’ll post a link to that in a bit, but first I have some ponderings of my own that I’ve been meaning to mention and this article dovetails nicely.
For every down, there’s an up…if you can just make yourself look for it and find it. So for every time I think about poor sales, or not enough reviews, or maybe I didn’t write something people really like, I hear that my barber may have only gotten to chapter twelve in my novel but his wife loved it so much she’s already read it three times. Or that someone from the city arts council read the whole thing in one day and is coming up with ideas on what actress should be cast for which character in the movie that’s sure to come. Or that it made someone laugh out loud, and kept someone on the edge of their seat, and made someone feel all warm inside.
I may be a self-published author with one novel under my belt, but I’ve been asked to give a presentation at the arts council and sit on a panel for a writing workshop. I had an article on the front page of my hometown newspaper. My minister wrote a great review, as did several really awesome people, and they’re all five-star (well…so far). And my granddaughter wrote a book report on it for school…and even got a 95!
How can you beat all that? Well, maybe Oprah giving everyone in her audience a copy of my book, but that can wait. The point is that there’s always something good to balance the bad, and there is always another thing to think about that can keep you going.
And you’re not alone. We all have misgivings. But we can all gird our loins and get back in the swim, headfirst with both feet. So mix a multitude of metaphors with wild abandon and get back to work!
Here’s Clayton with his excellent article…
Beat the Author Blues: How to Manage Writer’s Doubt
Think running a business is hard? Imagine if the business was based around your imagination being shared with others. This is what an author deals with on a daily basis. Thankfully, there are upsides to bring an author. Sharing your creativity can be the most rewarding thing in your life. It’s a chance few will take, but those who do can see great rewards.
Here are a few common issues that authors face, and suggestions on how to overcome them, or put them in perspective.
— Feeling devastated by a bad review
— I’m not a real author
— My writing isn’t good enough
— The task seems too big
— I don’t know enough about a subject to write about it