6 Easy Ways to Battle Self-Doubt So You Can Be the Writer You Want to Be

6 Easy Ways to Battle Self-Doubt So You Can Be the Writer You Want to Be

6 Easy Ways to Battle Self-Doubt So You Can Be the Writer You Want to Be
Photo by Yamamoto Ortiz

6 Easy Ways to Battle Self-Doubt So You Can Be the Writer You Want to Be

Everyone has self-doubt. It's that voice in your head that says things like:

  • "I'm not good enough."

  • "This sucks."

  • "I'll never make it."

  • "I'll never accomplish this goal."

Self-doubt will always exist; we're all human, and we all have it.

But the good news is, you can tell that self-doubt to take a hike. Here's how:

Tell It to Shut Up

Normally, I would say "be quiet," but for something as rude as self-doubt, brute force is necessary. Don't let yourself have the patience for self-doubt, and don't be polite to it when it appears. It's there to distract you, make you feel bad about yourself and what you're doing, and diminish your motivation and productivity. Give it what it wants, and you'll have a hard time achieving your goals. So, tell it to shut up and move on with your day.

Write Anyway

Sometimes when I start a writing project, it doesn't come out as well as I had imagined. Then the self-doubt sets in and I get to thinking I'm not good enough and that I should just start looking for a job. Then I remember to tell myself that it's okay to write a bad first draft.

The important thing when you're starting out with a new writing project is to get the "bones" down. It doesn't have to be perfect and you don't need to know every detail in order to write your first draft. Get it written, and then go back and do the necessary research and revisions.

Surround Yourself With Positivity

Fire the negativity in your life, and seek the positive. Aside from knowing what not to do, nothing good ever comes from focusing on the negative. Instead, make a commitment to focus on the positive things in your life so you can work on achieving your goals by being productive and effective. You'll be so much better off.

Post positive quotes around your office or workspace, think positively throughout the day by saying to yourself, "You know what? We're going to focus on the positive today," and, remember this little jingle from Monty Python: "Always look on the bright side of life."

Schedule Your Writing Time

It's easy to put things off when your last experience doing it was a little traumatic. If I don't like doing something, I tend to put it aside. Only this means, it almost never gets done (it's usually housework). Scheduling your writing time and sticking to that schedule will help you break through the self-doubt and get you to become a better writer. The more practice you put in, the easier it will get.

Set Easy Goals

Set some easy goals (things you know you can accomplish without too much trouble) throughout the day. The more things you can finish, the better you'll feel about yourself and your progress. This will give you the motivation and inspiration to move forward with your writing goals because you know you can tackle any project.

Move On

If you get stuck with a particular topic, move on to another one or take a quick break. While you're working on other topics (or tasks), your brain will work on the first topic behind the scenes. Have you ever gotten an idea while doing a household task? It happens to me often. I'm almost to the point where I turn to housework every time I need an idea–almost!

Just remember to return to your writing project after the break so you can complete it!

If you do these six things, your writing will get better, and the best part is, you'll be completing the writing projects that you start and creating a happier You!

Jody Calkins
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