Writing is many things. It is joyous. It is adventurous. It is liberating.
But it is also lonely.
I am both a writer and a (somewhat?) publishing professional. I’ve been writing fiction seriously for 12 years, I’ve been working on the other side of the pen for a little more than a year. I also work in a bookstore because…well, you know why. Between the bookstore and Zoozil (where I am the Director of Author Recruitment), I work nearly 50 hours a week with only a day off. It’s rewarding, but it’s taxing.
So where am I going with this? Writing and self-doubt. It’s something I think a lot of writers can relate to, and it springs up because of various occurrences and reasons. I believe in having a positive mental attitude, but there are times when the mind can only take so much before it breaks.
For me, that breaking point was this week, and I slipped into a funk where I thought everything I’d written and am currently writing was complete and utter shit. The Forger? Absolute garbage. From the Sky? Didn’t like my outline, didn’t like the story progression despite liking the characters and the dialog—again, absolute shit.
I know my writing isn’t shit. I know I’m a damn good writer (yay confidence!). Sometimes, though, when you can seem to string together a good sentence, or your ideas don’t sit right in your mind, it’s a pain to push through. With some help from friends and family, and a little bit of venting, though, I’ve shaken off that loathsome feeling.
We all deal with self-doubt and writer’s block in different ways. For me, I like taking walks; I like talking to friends. I read an author I know will make me laugh (Neil Gaiman, Sir Terry Pratchett, thank you both), and I do everything absolutely possible to get myself away from my own work. They say that authors are their own biggest (worst?) critics, and I think that absolutely holds true.
What do you think? How do you deal with self-doubt and writer’s block?
I’d love to hear.