Doubt and Discouragement

Can there be anyone in the aspiring-writers realm that hasn’t faced doubts and discouragement at some point? I question the honesty (sanity?) of anyone who claims he hasn’t. During the entire journey towards publication those blasted barbs of insecurity stick to us like burrs in a canine coat! I recommend you read Chip MacGregor‘s recent post, Overcoming Doubt — read it and bookmark it so you can return to read it again and again! I applaud his honesty and appreciate knowing that even professionals hit the wall occasionally.

How do you deal with doubts about your writing  abilities and your likelihood of success?


20 thoughts on “Doubt and Discouragement

  1. Jenny says:

    I always tell myself that if someone else can do it there’s no reason I can’t.

  2. Jenn Hubbard says:

    I actually think doubt is good for us. It keeps us humble, keeps us revising our work, keeps us willing to learn and improve.
    We also need confidence, to keep us going.
    So I think we need both, although confidence obviously feels better!

    • I hadn’t thought of doubt as having a positive aspect, but that makes sense. The encouragement we get from our online community goes a long way towards offsetting the despair and keeping us on the journey.

  3. How do I handle doubt? I tell the Lord how I feel, talk to my husband, work on another project, read and wait. Usually a breakthough occurs right after these dark times. This is why the enemy tempts us to quit; we are a threat to his plans.

    I like Chip MacGregor. Thanks for the link.


    • Good plan, Jen! Our first source of strength: “Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.”

  4. First, coming up on 51 years! That’s amazing!

    Second, I run into a wall of doubt about once every day. I’m going to hop on over to Chip’s blog and take a look.

  5. Laura Best says:

    Some days just seem to be filled with doubt. I try not to have those days often but every now and again the doubt creeps in when I least expect it–stupid doubt! Perhaps if we know that it is something we have to deal with from time to time we can put it all into the proper perspective, and only allow ourselves only so long to wallow. Doubt will creep in but it always so away. It has to.

    • Maybe, as Jenn says, doubt helps keep us humble and striving to do better, but at times it sure does a number on our morale. Even successful published writers admit to that nasty negative inner critic so I guess we’re in good company.

  6. dave ebright says:

    I suppose it depends on what you put into & what you want to get out of writing that determines the depth of doubt & the measuring stick for success.

    • Very true! I really believe the measure of success depends on individual perspective… how high one aspires both in life and in writing. When it comes to evaluating the quality of my writing, however, I’m not sure I have any control over that little voice whispering in my ear. 😐

  7. dave ebright says:

    Earplugs! I have boxes of ’em – be happy to send you a few dozen. They even have cords connecting them so you never lose “one” – I always wear ’em when I have to take a phone call from my office about “the budget” Ha! I bought 3 golf carts a few weeks back (w/ their money) – easier to get around yaknow. They whine – I laugh.

  8. I’m a realist by nature. I don’t doubt my abilities but I don’t inflate them either. I accept what is and what happens and work on constant improvement. For me, disappointment would be me not trying to get better at something.

    • I thought I was a realist, too, but I still swing between thinking my writing is accomplishing something and then telling myself it’s all crap and I’m wasting my time. Working on improvement is what makes the distance between extremes tolerable.

  9. christicorbett says:

    I simply think of the scene from Moonstruck, where Cher slaps Nicolas Cage and yells “Snap out of it!”

    Works like a charm.

    Christi Corbett

  10. Erica Vetsch says:

    Writer’s doubt is so sneaky! And it seems to be universal.

    Chip’s post was very encouraging. And Christi’s comment made me laugh. 🙂

    • It does seem to have hit most writers at some point or another, even best selling ones, but I take encouragement that their books are published anyway. I guess that says something about perseverance. (And I’m going to have Christi’s vision of Cher and Cage in my head for a long time!)

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