As with anything in life that requires skill, patience, and effort, writing (in any form) can cause insecurities and self-doubt. Writers and aspiring writers may feel as though their work is not good enough. It may seem as if their ideas are not coming together as they had envisioned or what they are producing is not up to par with their own standards of writing. Writers can begin to feel confused, sad, angry, or other emotions brought on by frustration and self-doubt. In some cases, these emotions or scenarios can lead to the dreadful Writer’s Block.
Unfortunately, every one of us will experience these feelings at some point.
It is very hard to always stay positive. Moreover, it is extremely hard to write with ease every single time. I do not mean to imply that it can never be done, as I have definitely written with ease and a positive mindset sometimes; however, to always – and I mean always – is simply not possible. Every person has setbacks. Every person will hit roadblocks in his or her writing. This is part of the writing process. To our dismay, these bumps can begin to hurt our self-esteems, which, in turn, affect our writing.
I can definitely say that I have felt these feelings. To be honest, I have felt them this week (and last week and the week before…). I get frustrated when my ideas aren’t developing fast enough, I get annoyed when I can’t manage to write my descriptions “perfectly,” and I get discouraged when I sit down to write and I don’t produce anything worthwhile or anything at all. When these minor struggles begin to add up, they sometimes cause me to feel down about my writing or about what I am doing with my time.
Imagine feeling this way every single day. Little by little, these feelings can drain a person’s creative inspiration. It can also cause Writer’s Block to settle in and create even more self-doubt.
While there are more reasons as to why writers end up with insecurities and self-doubt (besides the obvious fact that we are all human beings who are not perfect), it is not the end of our worlds. These feelings can be combated and conquered!
Ways to overcome self-doubt and insecurities about your writing:
- First, try to find out why you are feeling this way. Knowing what is causing your insecurities can help pinpoint where to begin to fix the issue.
- Don’t stop writing. Even though you may want to stop writing, it won’t fix the problem. Sometimes we have to keep writing to overcome the hurdles, especially if they are caused by Writer’s Block. If you are stuck, try using writing prompts. They can help you generate ideas, practice writing, and may spark inspiration for a new project.
- Refuel yourself. Just like running where you need to rehydrate, as a writer, you need to nourish yourself as well. While you may not physically injure yourself by overwriting (whatever that is), it is important to give yourself a break and give back to your creative side. Reading is one of the ways you can refuel. You can read new books, journals, and/or articles (support other writers!) or you can read your favorite pieces. You can also do other things that you believe will help give you some sustenance.
- Try new things! Sometimes writers get stuck because we’ve been doing the same thing too many times. Changing up your writing routine or style can help to reignite your inspiration and get you out of a funk. For example, if you only write prose, it may be a good idea to try writing in another form, such as poetry, so that you can develop new ideas in different ways. Never be scared to get out of your comfort zone.
Be sure to keep these things in mind:
- Everyone gets stuck; it’s normal. Writing is hard, as I’ve said before, and everyone struggles at some point. Even the most-skilled writers get stuck and have a hard time. However, do not let it overwhelm you to the point where you stop writing. Wallow, then brush yourself off and continue.
- Be patient. Writing a good piece is a process and things takes time to develop. Perfect writing (if it exists) does not usually happen in the first draft.
- Remember to find motivation. Remind yourself why you are writing.
These are only a few pieces of advice I have gained from other readers and writers in my life, but I hope they help you continue writing and remind you that someone else might be going through the same thing as you.
What makes you doubt your writing or skills?
What makes you feel insecure as a writer?
How do you overcome your insecurities and self-doubt?
What advice would you give to other writers?