As a newbie writer, you will have some serious phases of self-doubt in your writing. You should know that having doubts as a writer is completely normal. The feelings of doubt and uncertainty are essential parts of being human.
While you are working on your book, loads of things will be going through your mind, including the things that are to follow after you have completed your manuscript, such as writing a query letter, pitching your book to a literary agent, and landing a deal with one of the greatest publication houses.
Writing can be as challenging as it sounds, but if you are passionate, patient, and determined to get your book out, you will want to know the following tips to overcome self-doubt in your writing.
Step Away from the Manuscript
Usually, when you doubt your writing, it is because you are close to completing it. You might have been following a dedicated schedule – working on your writing project with discipline – and you now have started to doubt your abilities.
This is when you will want to cut some slack and step away from your manuscript. Take a little break when doubt starts creeping in. The underlying cause might be the presence of some undone tasks lingering in your sub-conscience.
For instance, it could be the feeling of guilt from not drinking enough water or not exercising in the morning. The first thing that you will want to do is to fully understand your doubt by getting to the root cause.
The best way to get to the root cause of your doubt is by doing this away from your manuscript. When you are not on your manuscript, you will want to do something else for some time, such as going for a run or cleaning and decluttering your space.
After you have calmed your mind and done the things you have had in your subconscious mind, you can return to the manuscript and resume your writing journey.
Of course, you will need the discipline to complete your writing task – but – when you are in doubt, you will want to look for inspiration.
Writing inspiration can come in different forms. You can spark your inner inspiration by having a thought-provoking conversation, going outside in nature and watching people, or reading a book by your favorite author.
You get the point – inspiration can spark at any moment, but it is your job to make room for it to land. By making space for inspiration, you will allow your mind to wander and for the plot bunnies to attack your mind.
Going on a long drive can also spark inspiration – think about all the writing material you can gather when you are observing things around you.
Aim for Positive Reinforcement
Our mind constantly processes information – even if we are unaware of it. Sometimes, self-doubt creeps in because perhaps you heard someone say something negative about your writing. You might have become disheartened about a bad review.
Somebody might just have said something that left a sour taste in your mouth. In any of the previously-mentioned scenarios, your best bet is to seek positive reinforcement. If you already have a book published under your name, you might want to revisit the reviews and focus on the four or five-star reviews it received.
If you have a public platform, you will want to create a folder on your computer where you proceed to store positive reviews, feedback, and emails from fans, readers, and your social media platform subscribers.
Once you have read the positive messages, you will find your doubt quickly fading away. If you haven’t published a book yet or don’t have a public platform, you will want to reach out to a close friend or family – or anyone who supports your writing.
By surrounding yourself with positivity and supportive people who lift you up and walk with you, you will quickly discover that there is absolutely no room for self-doubt and shove doubt out of the window.
Write a Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal isn’t only effective for being happy and grateful in your daily life, but it is a great way to crush your self-doubt and shift your mindset from negative to positive.
Every day, you will want to write down three to four things you are grateful for. Believe us – this simple method can really help you with putting things into perspective. As a writer working on your manuscript, your mind will be processing so many things, such as your character’s relationships falling flat – or – some aspects of your plot might not really make sense.
As a writer – it is perfectly normal to go through stress to the point where your brain might appear to explode. But – the problems seem to be bigger in your mind than they actually are. This is where the gratitude journal comes in.
By writing down the things you are grateful for daily, you will automatically transport yourself mentally to a more positive and tranquil place. You will start to see things through a clear lens, and your problems won’t appear so huge.
You will realize that your writing problems are indeed fixable, and you will also realize that your doubts are all in your mind.
Jot Down a Celebration List
Another way to overcome self-doubt is by jotting down a celebration list. The concept is quite simple – yet – very effective.
Instead of jotting down everything you have to do, try writing a celebration list by jotting down all the things you have already established. You might as well include a detailed celebration list for your writing career starting from the second grade when you wrote your first short story.
You will want to choose a time frame and jot down all the things that you have accomplished within that time frame. If you look at it, you will find that this is a great way to boost your morale, and lift your self-esteem.
While jotting down the celebration list, you will also be crushing down any doubt you might be experiencing.