Lesson 10

Take the next step in your career

"Ignore the voices and stick with it" (image: United Artists)

Writing is hard. And like anything that’s difficult, it needs determination and practice to master it.

There will be times during the writing process when you feel that:

  • you’re not a good writer;
  • this novel is not a good book;
  • nobody will like it; or
  • you’ll never finish it

What’s important to remember is that every author gets these feelings. I get them whenever I write. Even the greats experience a crisis of confidence, time and time again, even after they have sold millions of copies. These feelings are natural – it’s doubt born of a desire to create something, and for that something to be good. Doubts like these should never be feared. Instead, take comfort in the fact you’re not alone in having them.

How to overcome these doubts is much like finding your writing spot – personal and unique to every author. What I find helps is rereading my plan, to get that inspiration back. Feedback from friends or other writers can also be helpful. Motivational quotes, posters, and music can also help you overcome doubt with inspiration and determination.

If you get delayed with your novel or find yourself too distracted to write, then it’s important not to worry. Though sticking to a schedule helps you focus, you are allowed to change it. It's okay to skip a few days here and there, should life get in the way. Your only deadlines are yours, and putting more stress on yourself will only make it harder to write.

If you’re still struggling, then focusing on the end goal can also help. When you put the final full stop on your last draft, or see your book on a shelf, or get your first 5-star review, sticking to it will feel incredibly rewarding.

Writing may be a tough job, but if you’ve got a knack or a passion for it, it’s worth persevering and clinging on as hard as possible. As I said, it’s worth it.

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