There are three fairly certain truths about writers. We drink lots of coffee. We read whenever we’re not writing. And we are masters of self-doubt.
So, the next time you start to tell yourself you or your writing are not good enough, feel free to steal one of these guys to substitute. And no, I won’t barrage you with stories of famous writer X who failed 87 times before success. Hopefully these truths are a little more realistic but soothing nonetheless.
1) Good journeys are supposed to be hard. If things came too easily, let’s be honest, they wouldn’t feel right or rewarding. Unless you’ve got a magic genie in your pocket, embrace the struggle. Just like battle scars, the prove your hard work.
2) Once, you wrote that awesome sentence. Of course, you’ve written many awesome sentences but consider taking a favorite and posting it somewhere. Write it on a slip of paper and keep it next to your computer or in your wallet. Remind yourself just how incredible your words can be.
3) You can do other things, too. Writers are dedicated, but sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves that we can also juggle, or roast a mean chicken, or play a mean hand of poker. If you feel like you’re slacking with word count, think about those other skills.
4) Write for YOU. When the what ifs and the could be’s beat you up, remind yourself that at the end of the day you should be writing because you love it and that alone is a reward.
5) People are rooting for you. Go find one. A fan. Text a friend. Put out an APB on Twitter that you need a kind word. (And if you’re not tuned into the #WritingCommunity yet, get connected.) Find someone who will push that negative self-talk right out of your head.
6) That kid. That kid over there NEEDS your work. Today, if you write for children, in ten years, if you write for teens, or in twenty years, if you write for adults. Your unique story is needed in this world, and nothing you tell yourself can erase that simple fact.
Being creative means that you can also come up with some pretty harsh words for yourself. Try these tips and if all else fails, do five jumping jacks. Whatever it is, give your body and your brain a reminder that you are a writer and that’s pretty amazing.
A mother, teacher, and writer who enjoys all good stories and believes in the magic we can make every day by telling them.