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How to Perservere When Doubts Come

I am curious if other authors/writers follow this trend, but I go through different stages. I go weeks at a time when I think I am worthy and a great writer. I can’t wait for people to read my work. Then, it never fails. This crashes and I start to doubt. Should I continue the whole writing career? Am I any good? Am I worthy? 

Excusing the vulgarity, I saw this picture passed around Facebook. I love it because I completely can relate. I know that this specifically references the writing/editing process, but it also relates to the whole idea of being worthy.This brings me to the main purpose of this post.

Most writers will say that 1. Writing is hard work and 2. You can’t be successful unless you persevere.

I think the first saying relates not only to the writing process, but also the critiquing process….maybe they are part of the same beast.

As a writer I have critiqued, I have been critiqued and I have read critiques. When reviewing books, I often find myself spouting off critiques I’ve heard in any of these three categories. Sometimes, I think it makes me too critical for my own good. Writing is tough. It’s tough to hear the criticism and judge what has value. It is tough to then change/improve writing styles. It’s tough to develop realistic yet entertaining characters that are not flat. It’s tough to create a page-turning plot. Writing is just plain tough. 

Yet, all of that effort is useless if we give up. That’s what I keep telling myself. I can never be successful if I don’t continue this dream. I will never see my desires if I stop. I think I’ve mentioned before. I may never get it either way, but success is not even an option if I give up. 

So, what can writers do to get through the cycles of doubt?  I have three things that I rely on. 

1. Have a great support system. I know I will not survive without those people closest to me demanding I never give up. They validate me and yell at me when I think of quitting. “You can’t give up until you are at the top of your game.” That’s what one always says. It’s my current motto. 

2. Turn off the critic. Typically I doubt because I am criticizing something. Right now that’s either my writing or marketing abilities. I have to turn off this critic. I “change the channel” so to speak and walk away for a while. 

3. The power to believe. This does not mean trashing others to build myself, that just spurs my depression. I change my way of thinking. I forcibly say I belong and I believe until I finally accept that once again. It sounds stupid, and probably has more to do with my faith, but it eventually gets me back on track. 

Writing can have challenges and disappointments. But we all pursue it because, hopefully, there will also be great rewards at the end. What are your strategies to continue with your passion?