You know the feeling. Your current work in progress is beating you up. What you first viewed, in the heat of creation, as a gift to mankind, has become the muddled ramblings of a lunatic that bears little semblance to the magnificent prose that flowed effortlessly from your fingers only a day before.
You wonder who could have broken into your house while you slept, dreaming no
doubt of the major contract you would be offered once the world saw how
beautifully you had written your last masterpiece, to replace your work with a
steaming pile of a substance whose description is best left to the
Okay, I'll stop now. But you know what I'm talking about. Everyone who has
put pen to paper has experienced it. It's that nagging voice in the back
of your mind. That snide little bastard who quietly reminds you every chance he
gets that you will never succeed as a writer. His name is doubt and he
celebrates your failures.
And Doubt is swiftly followed by his partner in crime, writer's block.
It's a self fulfilling prophecy. Doubting your ability to write eventually
leads to being unable to write. Maybe your confidence has taken a hit, be it a
bad review, a rejection (which are famous for creating blocks) or even a read
through of your current work in progress that leads you to believe you are
incapable of stringing together a series of words in a coherent manner.
Whatever the cause it’s important to recognize what’s going on and that there
The world is not coming to an end and you can stop pounding your forehead on
your desk. You are not alone. Every writer in the world, no matter how famous,
or how many bestsellers they've written, at one time or another has come face
to face with those twin monsters. How they overcame them is different with each
writer. What works for one may not work for another.
Personally I've found the best cure for doubt and writer's block is more writing. I'll have several different projects going at the same time. When the doubts begin to surface on one, I switch to a different project. The biggest drawback to this of course is the length of time it takes to complete a single project.
To counter that I classify my projects based on when I want to complete them. The next project scheduled for completion is considered the primary project. It is the project I always return to until it is finished.
Like I said, what works for one writer isn't going to work for another writer. To help out I've done a little search and have come up with several other sites that offer tips for overcoming that nagging little voice.
How to Conquer Self Doubt and Win
Overcoming self doubt
5 ways for writers to overcome self doubt
6 easy ways to battle self doubt
If all else fails let me know. I know a guy who knows a guy, who's related to a guy who can wipe the smile of the face of that simpering idiot. Well, actually I don't, but I've always wanted to say that.