Musings · My Writing

Tackling Writer’s Self Doubt…Or Not.


Good afternoon! How are all you folks? Here in sunny California, it’s a beautiful spring day. The wind is a bit nippy over here by the coastline, but aside from that it’s lovely. People are selling daffodil bouquets at Farmer’s Market, along with sheep cheese and other fun things.

Meanwhile, I am working on two books. Sigh. Oh, friends! Revising is tough. I have the revising blues, as of late.

The first book I’ll mention is the epic fantasy I may have mentioned in a previous post or two. It’s a classic quest story, but also a “new adult” growing up story, a tale of war, love, grief and self-searching. Essentially it’s two polar opposites, a warrior and a mage, searching for the culprit in a series of magical murders, and for the origin of magic in order to save their people.

The story was written with an outline, and I think it has some great characters. What I’ve been working on in the first 10 chapters is mostly fleshing out the motivations of said characters. I’ve also adjusted the plot so it is a lot denser – something the readers can make sense of and dig their teeth into.

But I keep hitting a rut. One chapter, it’s dialog. Another, it’s pacing. This chapter, it’s having to re-write the chapter from a different character’s point of view, and adjusting the plot so that the chapter is a lot more exciting.

Somehow I just lack focus in revising this novel. I am trying to get it, my friends. I have been reading Writer Unboxed posts daily. I plan to buy a bulletin board at the nearest Staples and story-board the whole thing out. Meanwhile, there’s a tiny voice in my telling me that I’m not a writer, that I’ve dedicated years of work and stories, poems, time, energy, tears, to…something I’m not even good at.

But this post isn’t, alas, a motivational, invigorating post where I share all of my techniques for how to overcome writer’s self-doubt. Sorry, guys. It’s not. Know why? Because. I’m still working on that. I still am working on overcoming writer’s self doubt. And I’ve heard it’s a revisiting demon, a thing that comes to say hi with every book, short story, or poem we write. It’s here to stay. It’s something we have to live with, dagnabbit!

So the question really is, how to live with writer’s doubt.

In a failure of sorts that I”m reluctant to share, I confess…I’ve turned away from troublesome novel 1, and I am now working on a different novel. This one is also a second draft (I know! How will I ever finish a single book, if I keep going like this?). But somehow I breathe easier. I’ve redone the first chapter, and I look forward. Somehow this revision still holds promise. Maybe it won’t in a few chapters. Maybe I’ll hit another rock and have to turn right back around to project #1.

Or maybe, I’ll find a way to face my self-doubt demon. Maybe I will.

Let’s hope for that. And now – back to the writing!

Until next time,



P.S. Holy moly, my friends. I may have just found my answer! Here is a post on the Daffodil Principle, an answer (an, not the; I think there are multiple answers) to writer’s self doubt in it’s own right, which I found when looking for an image to accompany this post. The first half is positive; the second gives some food for thought: The Daffodil Principle


2 thoughts on “Tackling Writer’s Self Doubt…Or Not.

  1. I believe even the greatest of writers harbour some degree of self-doubt 🙂 Feel the feeling and proceed anyway. I wrote a piece on writer’s block below my ‘about page’ if you wish to view it. Haribol..


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