Every writer faces worries and doubts during the writing process, but allowing setbacks to prevent you from achieving your goal is the game-changer between finding success and ending up back at the starting line.
Here’s some advice on how to tackle these common niggly issues.
Blast Away Self-Doubt
You will find yourself feeling differently about your abilities and progress from one day to the next. This is common, but knowing how to blow away self-doubt and manage a rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts is always going to be fifty percent of the battle.
When you’ve had a bad day and feel like you aren’t really sure that you’re doing well, or your mind starts to wander off into negative zones, take a step BACK and re-calibrate your thoughts.
Tell yourself that you are NOT going to sabotage all your progress over a few negative thoughts.
You might feel uninspired or negative some days, but you can recognise it and rise ABOVE it without letting your feelings swallow you.
Calm your mind and stop writing. Read a pre-written list of all the reasons why you wanted to write this book to begin with. Remind yourself of these goals.
Train your mind to understand that setbacks WILL happen and you just need a bit of faith and strength to overcome these slumpy periods. Keep telling yourself this and sooner or later your positive feelings will return.
Toughen up with Time Management
Let’s face it. We all start a new year with heaps of enthusiastic ideas and promises then by March we find ourselves caught up in something else, then another thing, and before we know it we are completely off the writing radar.
Managing your time effectively will be one of the things that brings you success.
Whenever I found myself struggling to sit down and write, I simply reminded myself of the commitment I made. It was a part of my life (yes, like a real job) that I couldn’t back out from.
The only time I would allow myself to stop for a break would be during family illness, vacation, or some important unexpected function that I had to attend to, otherwise there was no excuse. I was pretty tough on myself.
So BE tough with yourself. It’s the distinctive difference between looking back and wondering what you did with all the time you were meant to be writing, and actually having a finished manuscript in your hand that’s ready to publish to the world.
Ask for Advice and Help
Those who sit back and wallow in problems and doubts stay a lot further behind than those who rise above their misgivings and plough forward. Be the writer that fearlessly asks for help even when you have some doubts that you’ll receive it.
Get into forums and online communities, be vocal about what you are hoping to achieve. Show enthusiasm for other people writing novels the same as yours and get them interested in what you are doing.
MAKE 2020 YOUR YEAR OF SUCCESS
Imagine a day towards the end of this coming year where you’re sitting across from someone you know in a cafe. They’re telling you how impressed they are with how you succeeded in writing a complete novel, and you’re smiling broadly at them, pleased with your achievement.
You know it was tough at times, but you totally believed in yourself, and in the end you smashed it!
Now every time you hit a brick wall in 2020 replay this scene and keep those images in your mind. Let it encourage you to keep moving forward.
Carla is a successful historical fiction writer and workshop leader. When her fingers aren’t tapping on piano keys, she’s relentlessly guiding ambitious new writers to the finish line with heaps of inspiring advice and motivational techniques.