Overcoming Self-doubt

Good morning, fellow imaginers, and welcome to another weekend edition of YJBLiterary. This week we celebrated the 4th of July and commemorated the amazing service of our men and women in the military. Having several family members and friends who served in the military, I’m aware that one day will never be enough to show our appreciation for all of their sacrifices. I hope everyone was able to enjoy the time spent with friends and family and get a little bit of time off from work. I, myself, have been grinding away at the third novel in the metamorphs series, and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve completed my edits for the manuscript! Today, I will be sending it off to my editor, and I should have the book out for sale by either the end of the month or the beginning of August, at the latest. The editing process was a roller coaster of emotions, and something I would like to expand upon in today’s article. Today, I would like to talk to you all about a common obstacle that we writers face: self-doubt.

When coming up with the initial idea for a story, it’s easy to get excited about it. A new beginning, a new plot, and new challenges await. This stage of the writing process is an exhilarating one, a stage in which the possibilities are endless. The potential for a great story is there, and you can’t wait to sit down and put pen to paper. 

As you go along and develop the manuscript, you get wrapped up in the story and can often find yourselves straying off the beaten path. Perhaps a new character comes along that you weren’t expecting, someone whom you feel will make a major impact in your story line. Perhaps you devise a side story, one that will enhance the readers experience, however, it leads to several plot holes you hadn’t anticipated. Maybe you begin to ramble, divulging more information than needed and dumping too much upon the reader. Whatever the case may be, the story may not turn out the way you had originally intended. That is when the beginnings of self-doubt creep in.

As you continue to analyze the story, more problems seem to pop up. Should you add more to the story and make it longer? Should you cut scenes that you really like but ultimately feel are not important? How does all of this fit into the grand theme of your series? Before you know it, you become overwhelmed by these negative thoughts and are unsure of how you got to this point.

This is not unusual for authors to experience, especially new ones. The more you write, the more you realize how common this experience is. The majority of authors suffer from self-doubt and lack of confidence, especially as many of us are natural introverts. However, it is important that we push through and try not to be overly critical of ourselves. The first draft is always going to be terrible. End of story. No matter how good of a writer you are, no one has ever written their masterpiece in one go. It takes time, and it takes patience. That is where the editing process comes in.

After completing my initial manuscript, and looking over my work, I knew I had a lot to work on. I wasn’t satisfied with the overall product, however, I knew there were good bones there. I knew that underneath all of the excess was a great novel waiting to be read. So I set to work.

Little by little, I chipped away at the wordiness, the plot holes, the grammar, and smoothed out my dialogue. I took time to analyze each sentence, each paragraph, each page, until I began to see the vision that had been in my mind all along. By the time I wrote that last period, I was exhausted from all of the work. But I was happy. Happy that it had all worked out in the end. Happy that the product I had envisioned from the beginning was finally here. Whatever self-doubt I had experienced along the way, I had conquered it, pushing through the negativity and focusing on my love for the craft.

Ultimately, you, the reader will help determine my perception of this novel. As with all authors, I write not only for myself but for your enjoyment. I hope you all have as much fun reading the third book as I did completing it. I’m fairly certain that I’ve settled on a title, and I’ll be working on creating the cover later on today. Hopefully, I should be able to let you all preview it soon. Have a great rest of the weekend, and until next time, keep imagining!


Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

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