On Writing: Responding to those Negative Voices

We all have our doubts, about all things. But I’ve noticed writing, or rather writers sometimes seem to get them extra bad. Something perhaps about the fact their words will be on display without any buffer, or that of any artform I feel writing requires so much lonely commitment to even get considered for public consumption we have alltogether too much space to be overcome with insecurity.

I’m not claiming any sort of cure-all or really particularly whatever advice, I’m just going to share some of my worrisome thoughts and what counter-arguments I use against them:

You’re never going to be a big seller like Harry Potter, you’re not even going to get published!

When this sort of thinking invades I remind myself:

  • Publishing and success is largely out of my control, the only thing under my control is effort and perserverence. I might not find success but I can work hard and do my best
  • Success is a secondary goal to being of benefit or service to others. Rather than trying to be a successful writer I try to be a generous writer

A novel is super complex and requires lots of interlocking elements, its all too much. Even if I finish a novel there will be so much editing to do

  • I remind myself that no matter how complex the task, it will be completed in (relatively) brief small steps, steps that don’t have to encompass all the elements that will be present in the finished product

This story isn’t as cool as XXX or as intricate as YYYY, my writing is going to come across ZZZZ instead of what I want

  • Remember I want to be of service to others. My writing might not come out the way I originally wanted but I can craft it into something useful if I accept what I do produce

I don’t have anything meaningful to say

  • Just say something anything.

There is nothing new under the sun, OR so-and-so has just written a story or that TV show has just done that better than I could

  • I try and remind myself that this is evidence that people want stories about that. Writing isn’t a race, I’m not trying to ‘win’ I’m trying to create.

Not to skite (I guess It’s hardly a flex really) but 2021 has at least been a year where I’ve stuck to my writing goals and kept up a consistent word-count each day. It certainly is the best way to maintain progress and most of the success writer friends I know claim ‘writing everyday’ is the key element.

So I guess I’m feeling fairly on top of the procastination and negativiety right this second!

How about you guys – what evil voices do you ecounter against your writing. What do you do to counter them?

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