Overcoming Self-Doubt and Naysayers

by: Lori Soard

Ever hear that still little voice that whispers into your ear, “You’ll never be a real writer!” ? Perhaps your little voice is a family member who thinks you’ve “gone off the deep end” to pursue writing. Whatever the source of the doubt, it is at times difficult to overcome. Here a few tips for keeping positive in the face of naysayers.

1) Write down your goals. This will make them seem more concrete and will give you specifics to work toward. Be realistic but challenge yourself.

2) When writing, make a conscience effort to say, “I’m working.” If someone calls, never say, “I’m writing.” They often take that as a sign that you aren’t doing anything <ha ha> and keep right on chatting. Tell them you are “working.” Not only will this show your family and friends you’re serious about this path you’ve chosen but it will help you remind yourself.

3) Try to set a schedule for your writing. Even if you only have 15 minutes a day, make it clear that those are your 15 minutes and anyone interrupting does so at their own risk.

4) Surround yourself with peers who will support you when you’re down. Online networks are wonderful for this. There are many chat rooms, online chapters, listservs and much more to help you through your down times.

5) Read stories about others’ successes and how they overcame self-doubt.

6) Rent an audio tape from your local library on self-improvement. Something like “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” It can motivate you and give you a new outlook on life.

7) Invest in your career. You don’t have to be rich to invest in a fantastic new ink pen that feels comfortable in your hand and you enjoy writing notes with.

8) Submit your work. Be brave. Yes, you might get rejected. But, you also might get some wonderful comments from an editor and grow as a writer.

9) Join a critique group. Attend a conference. Read a book on writing. Improve your skill at every opportunity.

10) Never give up. Perseverance does pay. You might not sell yoru first book or your seventh, but what if you give up after number seven and number eight was the one that would have sold?

Lori Soard started Word Museum in 1997. She’s a published author and has written thousands of articles over the years for newspapers, magazines and online. She has a PhD in Journalism and lives in Southern Indiana with her husband. They have two grown daughters, both animal lovers their house is always filled with pets.

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