Sorry, I Can't Hear You Over My Screaming Doubts
Doubts are a real pain in the brain, aren’t they? Mine tend to prod me when I’m in a holding pattern with querying (sent off a batch, waiting for responses), or when I’ve tried out a variety of SNIs and gotten precisely nowhere with them. All those niggling doubts start prodding and sneering at me.
You’ll never be good enough.
You’re never going to be published.
Your writing is “okay” but not “amazing”.
Guess you missed your chance.
You’ll just never write a story that’s good enough.
There must something fundamentally wrong with my writing. That’s why I never quite take the next step.
Is my writing worth it?
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Shut up, head! I got enough problems in my life without you betraying me, too!
Everyone has doubts. Pretty sure it’s a pre-requisite to being human. What you have to do (hahah, because it’s that easy), is fight back and not give in. I want to be a published author so much I can’t be the reason I don’t make it. My doubts may scream at me, and they definitely get me down sometimes, but they only win if I quit and go “Yeah, you’re right, I am awful and I can’t write worth a damn so why keep trying?”
I’m not quitting. Nothing you want in life this badly is something you just quit.
I know self-esteem and self-belief aren’t always the easiest things to come by. Depression is real, and sometimes that tunnel swallows you whole and the end never seems to come into sight. You’re not alone thinking “agents don’t like it, so it’s no good and neither am I”, but you’ve got to fight back. Because writing is about more than being published. It’s about creating something only you can write and sharing that story with others. You love it. Don’t let doubt crush your creativity. Write what you want and don't back down.
Because I am good enough, so shut up.
I will be published.
My writing is brilliant, and I can and will get better.
There’s not “a” chance. There are plenty of opportunities out there. It’s up to me to find them.
I will write a “good enough” story. I just have to find the right agent for it.
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with my writing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep improving.
My writing, and me, are worthy of everything so TAKE A SEAT, DOUBT!
Sometimes querying is just a miserable parade of rejection and the ideas do dry up, but you keep writing and you keep trying because that’s how much you want it. Remember to believe in yourself. You are your own worst critic. Fight back. You are worthy of whatever you choose to do in life, and the last person who should stop you is you.