Writers: Read This If You’ve Been Doubting Yourself Lately

I will never be as good of a writer as John Green.


I can’t do this.

I’m not good enough.

I’ve never been a good writer and I never will be.

Nobody’s paying attention.

I’ll never get anything published.

Are these the kinds of thoughts that have been running through your head lately? You need to keep reading. Because as ‘normal’ as it is to doubt yourself, that doesn’t make it okay. If any of the following things have been bothering you, or ever have before, it’s because we have all felt, and many of us still feel, doubtful and frustrated because of these and many other things in the past. So what’s wrong?

You keep getting your work rejected and no one will tell you why

This hurts. I know it hurts. I remember the first time I had something I’d written – something I’d worked hard on, and was proud of – rejected. You just can’t let that feeling get the better of you. Take some time to get over it – walk away, watch a movie, eat some sweet potato fries – and then get back to life as normal (aka, writing). Because there are dozens of stories of successful people who have been rejected over and over again and still made something of themselves. How? They never gave up. Rejection after rejection, they just kept trying. You can do the same. It will always hurt, but instead of letting it bring you down, let it motivate you to try harder.

Here’s one of our most popular posts about bouncing back from rejection.

No one is reading your blog

Do you want to know how many people read my first-ever blog post? Zero! Do you want to know how many people read my tenth, fiftieth, one hundredth? Probably still zero. It takes a long, long time to grow an audience. It has nothing to do with you not being good at what you’re doing. The problem is that you aren’t the only one doing it. The blog you start writing will not be the blog you continue writing a year, two, five years from now. It takes awhile for a blog to grow into its own original thing. Technically, I’ve been blogging since 2009 and only last year did it grow above 20 followers. Rebranding aside, if you’re not willing to be in it for the long haul, what are you really in it for? Be patient.

You can never seem to finish anything you start

Been there, never finished that. I’ve started writing things I thought would go super well end never ended up finishing them for really no reason other than I got bored. It happens to everyone – some more than others. Why do some of us struggle to follow through? Discipline, or lack thereof, mostly. To say you don’t have the discipline doesn’t mean you can’t train yourself to strengthen it. Not having the discipline to start, continue and finish a novel is the case for many of us. My best advice for you is to pick one project – just one. Put everything else to the side (but responsibilities first!) and focus just on that one project. If you’re anything like me, your problem is made even worse by the fact that you keep trying to do 20 different things at once. Focus on just one. Focus on it until it’s done, no matter what.

You lost a follower/subscriber

Happens to me all the time! It’s just a number, sure, but when you value each of those numbers for the people they represent like I do, it makes your heart sink. That’s a normal human reaction. We all want to know we’re helping someone, and to see that number go down makes us feel like we did something wrong. Chances are, that person either deleted whatever account they’re using to follow or subscribe to you, or they are trying to decrease the amount of emails they’re getting, or they just went on a massive internet cleanse and cleared out everything they don’t ever look at. It’s probably nothing personal. And if it is for whatever reason, well, that’s their problem, not yours.

You’re not as good of a writer as ___

WHO CARES?? I will never be as good of a writer as John Green. Does that stop me from developing my own style and voice? Of course not! You cannot compare your writing to that of a professional. For one thing, everything you read, while it is written by that person, has been edited several times and layers over. It sounds the way it does because multiple people have combed through it at least two or three times. Never judge the quality of your writing based off of something you read that is professionally published. For another thing, you are, and always will be, your own person. No two people have the exact same writing voice and style. Focus on developing and refining your own instead of worrying so much about trying to match someone else’s.

I know how you feel. I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t. I know that reading other people’s work is hard because it makes you feel inferior. I know rejection can make you want to throw your dreams away and turn your back on writing forever. DON’T. If this is how you feel right now, the good news is that it’s probably not going to get much worse. So now is the time to turn things around.

  • If you are not happy with what you are writing right now, write something else.
  • If no one is paying attention to the things you are writing, keep writing. Also, look for people to connect with who will appreciate what you’re doing. The internet is a big and scary place, but if you look hard enough, you will find the gems.
  • If you keep getting rejected, take a good look at things in your niche that have already been published. What are they doing that you aren’t? Don’t copy; loosely model.
  • Remember: consistency is key. If you want to grow any platform online, posting consistently is one way to keep people coming back.

No matter what you write, who sees it or your reason for doing it, all that matters is that you let yourself be proud of what you accomplish. As long as you are able to praise yourself, nobody else’s opinion, or lack thereof, matters. YOU are the writer. YOU are your only competition. YOU started writing for a reason. YOU are important. So are your ideas. Now go. Put those ideas into words. Link to your blog in the comments – I want to see what you’re up to! YOU are important to me. Your words matter. Don’t keep them locked away because of doubt. Set them free.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

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