A Bit of Encouragement // I Punch 9 Writerly Doubts in the Face

As a writer, I’ve had ups and downs, highs and lows. And sometimes those lows…they feel like you never want to write again and that you’re writing is so worthless you’d rather crumple it up and burn it with fire rather than try to fix it.

But I’m here today to tell you to keep going. Doubts happen to all of us, but we can defeat them. Here are some that I’ve struggled with, and then the solution that I’ve reached.

This story is so terrible. Nobody will want to read it. Why should I even bother?

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Why should you even bother. Hm. How about because it’s a great story and it needs to be told? Too cheesy? Okay. How about there will be at least two people out there who will love your story to pieces. You, and your biggest fan. Still not convinced? How about because writing is fun and you don’t do it for other people, you do it because you need to write and get this story out of you. People will like your story. It’s inevitable. And if they don’t, at least you can be proud that you actually wrote something. That’s a huge accomplishment!

This story is a mess. I’ll never be able to fix it.

Okay, so maybe you’ve stumbled upon a massive plot hole or 5, or maybe you’re story is so incoherent that it’s barely readable. Fear not, writers! There is this magical thing, that all writers use when they happen upon these tragedies. It’s called…revision. First drafts aren’t perfect, they’re to get the story down on paper. Second drafts aren’t that great either. Neither are third, fourth, maybe even fifth drafts. That’s why we revise. And edit. Have others read your writing, get feedback, have someone work out the kinks with you. You will fix it, don’t worry. It may seem messy now, but it’ll shine, one day.

I’m not a real writer.

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Well… that’s stupid. Of course you are! You write, don’t you? That’s all a writer is. Someone who writes. So if you write absolutely anything, be it short stories, or novels, or grocery lists, you’re a real, genuine writer.

I’m so horrible at (dialogue, imagery, setting, etc). I’ll never get good at it.

This sounds incredibly like a cliché, but practice, practice, practice makes perfect. You’ll never get good at said thing with the attitude that you’ll never get good at it. Try finding writing exercises for the particular thing you’re struggling with. Then do them until, bit by bit, you find that maybe that conversation between your main character and villain wasn’t so bad. That maybe you’re kinda proud of that one paragraph where you described that creepy castle. Don’t give up. You will get good at it.

The internet is too distracting, so I end up never writing.

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Just turn it off. Haha, just kidding, that’s never worked for me. Instead, what I do, is I use it as a reward system. I write x amount of words, I get to watch a Studio C sketch. I write for x amount of time, I get to surf on Pinterest or Goodreads for 5 or 10 minutes. That’s the system that works best for me, but…I’m still trying to figure this one out, guys… XD

I’ll never be able to write like (insert favorite author).

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You’re right. You won’t. Because you can’t. Nobody can write like you. And that’s an amazing thing! Just think; no author can come up with the same amazing characters as you. No author can come up with that thrilling plot twist you created. No one can transport you into your story as you do. Because you’re not writing as them. You’re writing as you.

I don’t write everyday, so I’m failing as a writer.

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Don’t you realize? Every time you’re thinking about your story. Every time you have an imaginary conversation with one of your characters. Every time you’re in the shower and you concoct a perfect plot twist. Every time you read a book. You’re writing. You’re being inspired and letting things percolate in your mind and thinking things through. Just because you’re not getting words down on paper doesn’t mean you’re not working.

Nobody will ever be as invested in my story as I am.

Ahem. Have you ever heard of a fangirl?

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I’m never going to finish this novel…

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If you really, truly, love it, you will. It won’t let you leave it unfinished. And if it’s such a chore to finish and write it, maybe it’s not for you. If you’re not loving your novel/writing 100%,(True, it can feel like a love-hate relationship sometimes, but…you know what I mean), it won’t matter how much time you invest in it, it won’t ever seem finished.  Which is totally okay! Begin a new project. Something you really, really love. Something you want to invest your time in. Because if you love it, chances are, other people will too.

Well, there’s my two cents. Do you struggle with any of these? What are some other doubts that I didn’t include? How do you deal with them? Let me know down in the comments below!

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