Last year, I struggled to keep writing. I was working on a middle-grade novel that is currently in the “cooling” phase of revisions. Some days the words came, and some days they didn’t. The only sure thing was that I would eventually come to doubt every word on the page.
This is the fear that comes with being a writer.
We used to scribble a story in a notebook and share it proudly. Or we drew pictures and displayed them on the refrigerator. Somehow, though, we stopped being okay with imperfection.
I don’t think this is a necessarily a bad thing. Self-criticism is the first step to getting better. If we were always satisfied with our work, we would never improve.
But this self-criticism is only helpful when it motivates us and NOT when it freezes us.
I still struggle with these self-doubts and questions. It’s hard to keep trying some days. But sometime last year I decided I needed some pep-talks. I had listened to hundreds of podcast episodes about craft, but only the rare episode talked about what to do with fear. So I started writing my own pep talks.
This year, on every other Wednesday, I am going to be sharing these pep talks. My hope is that they encourage us (yes, me too) to keep writing despite our doubts and fears. Topics will cover things like what to do when we lose our momentum, how to not feel behind, and even how to respond when you find books similar to your own.
So, if you need a pep talk, come back soon for a post about setting and tracking writing goals to keep you motivated!