Facing Doubts and Insecurities So You Can Reach Your Goals
Many of us who blog on The Muffin write about the topic of writing doubts and insecurities. Most definitely, it’s the life of a writer. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had the thought: This manuscript is terrible. No one will ever want to read it. This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever had.
This is probably true for any creative people who pour their heart and soul into their work and then will be “judged” for it. Even when your book or short story is published, there are still reviews and sales numbers to face. (Really, this post is not meant to be depressing! Stick with me…)
Recently, I’ve been dealing with fighting off my doubts and insecurities because I’m ready to launch a new project. I’ve been referring to the person who used to listen to those doubts and quit projects without finishing them “my old self.” I’m calling this writer (me!) who will launch this project below tomorrow or Tuesday–”my new self.” Here’s the cover:
One day this past week while I’ve been working on Listen, Lucy! Listen!, I posted in my writers’ group Facebook group that I had to “tell my old self to settle down” several times in the past couple weeks This project above is a picture book that was once under contract, but it never did get published. That’s a long story for another day–or maybe never. But I did have the artwork from Pam Withroder and the text (from me!). I have InDesign on my laptop to put it together. So I did–finally.
And I plan to use this book as a marketing tool–which I also know is something a lot of writers do. But still, I’ve been plagued with questions, such as: Will anyone like this book? Will people think I’m silly for giving it away for free? Will my plans for books, workshops, and presentations to go with this book be well received? A very loud voice seems to constantly ring through my head saying, “This is a bad idea. No one will like it.” (That’s the old self, there!)
In today’s society, we talk a lot about listening to our gut. There’s even the expression “women’s intuition.” However, there’s also the inner critic of a creative person, and that is the one who keeps telling me don’t do this–she’s harsh–too harsh. I know this is a cute book and how to write children’s picture books. I know about the rule of three, about not making it preachy, and how to use repetition.
So I told that inner critic, my old self, to go take a nap. Because I’m going to do this. And don’t worry: when I blog the last week of October, on here, I will be ready to let you know all about my project and how to get this book for free!
Until then, join me! If you have an old self (aka paralyzing inner critic) whispering doubts and criticism in your ear, tell him or her to pack a bag and take a trip because you don’t have time for that–you’re too busy writing.
Margo L. Dill is the managing editor of WOW! and teaches novel writing, middle-grade and YA fiction writing, and school visit classes. You can check those out in the classroom here. To find out more about Margo and her books, which she managed to get published in spite of her inner critic, check out her website here or keep in touch or email a question here.
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