Here’s How I Overcome My Self-Doubt About Writing

Woman writing on a laptop
Image from Unsplash.com

Fear of Rejection is hardly the best mindset in such a competitive field

But as Healthline points out in their article on the topic, “Rejection hurts. There’s really no way around it.”

Fortunately, though, it is possible to manage self-doubt

I know, for example, that my own problems with self-doubt aren’t related to the amount of experience I have as a writer. They are more ingrained — caused by a lack of self-esteem that started in my childhood.

Writing allowed me to project my frustrations and fears onto something else, rather than my husband

And the benefits were three-fold. I found an outlet to vent, I made connections with other mothers — also struggling with a job everyone assumes should come naturally to women — as well as a supportive group of other amateur writers.

My lighthearted musings metamorphosed into a blog

My light-hearted musings to friends back home in the UK about our new life in Australia — the horror of Huntsman spiders, the proliferation of bush turkeys, and the pain of Bluebottle stings — developed into more serious gripes about the Australian mental healthcare system, women’s issues, and discrimination, and I started to develop my craft.

The second I unleashed my first post on the world, I was addicted

And in between daily life and my children growing up, I continued to write, squeezing blog posts and pitches into my Sundays nights, taking courses, and trying to read anything I could get my hands on.

Below, are some of the coping mechanisms that have helped me overcome my self-doubt:

  1. I stopped comparing my writing to other, more experienced writers. Instead, I force myself to read their writing and learn from it.
  2. I try not to “run before I can walk” and see my writing career as an apprenticeship, with a necessary series of stepping stones.
  3. I continue to learn about my craft to improve my writing — from other writers, courses, and experts.
  4. I put my failures into perspective. This comes with experience and a greater knowledge of the industry. But I understand now that editors reject pitches for all sorts of reasons, not necessarily because your idea is poorly-crafted. Now, each time I send an article or pitch to an editor, I ask myself what’s the worst that can happen?
  5. I remain committed. Fortunately, I am self-disciplined by nature. Sure, I have days when I struggle to open my lap top, but I don’t beat myself up about them.
  6. I know my worth. After my long apprenticeship, I am better at ignoring the negative self-talk and staying focused on the road ahead.
  7. I am realistic in my expectations.
  1. Stop putting the wrong things in, i.e., negativity or toxicity from your peer group, or doom-scrolling through the media,
  2. Start putting the right things in, i.e., stuff that supports your greatness,
  3. And get out the things that shouldn’t be there, i.e, if needs be, work through the problem with a coach or therapist.

Writing is a job, and I understand there must be a level of accountability

Writing books is my true passion, and despite my Imposter Syndrome and awareness of the low success rates in traditional publication, I continue to edit my works in the hope of one day becoming a published author as well as a published writer. After all, authors such as Toni Morrison, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and even Tolkien were published later in life.

And even though self-doubt continues to lurk like a shadow in the room, I am learning to ignore it

I may not be the best writer. To become an expert in any field requires time, craft, and commitment, and for some there is a longer set of stepping stones.

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