Writing can be tough and it’s not uncommon for writers to doubt themselves and doubt their manuscripts, whether they’re published or not. In this post I’m addressing some of the worries we face, and how to beat them when they get you down.
1. What if my writing is rubbish?
All artists find fault with their work. We are perfectionists after all. But chances are, your writing is not as bad as you’re worrying about. Editing is a wonderful process, turning early drafts into something beautiful. But if you’re really struggling to feel confident, maybe take up a new way to learn the craft of writing. Be it through a course, a workshop or simply reading advice in books and online. You’ll soon have more faith in your abilities, and of course; practice makes perfect.
2. What if my story is boring?
When you spend so much time in your story, the twists and turns have less impact. You know the story inside out, so nothing surprises you, especially when you’re no longer drafting. By the time you’re on your fourth, fifth, sixth (etc) edit it’s easy to worry that the story is boring. Again it probably isn’t. One of the best ways to beat this worry is get somebody new to read it for the first time. They’ll soon be able to tell you if the story was exciting, had pace and whether or not it surprised them.
3. What if my twists are too obvious?
This point ties in with the one above. When you’re close to the story the twists aren’t surprises, and you can’t look at it from the outside to find out if the twists are obvious. Remember, it’s obvious to you. This is the quickest and easiest way to beat this fear. Remember that you aren’t considering it through fresh eyes or a new mind. Again, seeking feedback is a great way to put your mind at ease, or let you know what doesn’t work.
4.What if I don’t have time to write?
Life is busy for everybody. Whether your other commitments are work, education, children, volunteering, caring, house keeping or a combination of things. But the biggest thing stopping you finding the time to write, is the fear. Spend less time worrying and more time writing. Fit writing into your busy life, by not waiting until the perfect, quiet time to write. Slot it in while you’re on the bus, on lunch breaks or even just five minutes before bed. All progress is progress, you’re not under a time limit. Fit it in around you, and before long it’ll become a habit you can’t stop.
5. What if my novel is rejected?
The fear of rejection is probably the strongest of all writer’s fears, and it’s what halters progress for many. And let’s be honest, the harsh truth is; you will be rejected. Unless you’re lucky enough to land a deal with the first agent/publisher you approach, you will face rejection. Always remember that rejection doesn’t mean your writing isn’t good enough. Keep trying, send your novel out again and again, and never give up. Many of the most successful writers were rejected numerous times. You’re not alone, it happens to use all. But keep positive, and keep going. And do some useful things in the mean time, like carrying on writing so you have a novel to fall back on.
What’s your biggest worry as a writer? How do you overcome it? Let me know in the comments below!
Keep writing (and stop worrying!)