Craft Quote #8 – Overcoming Writer’s Doubt

In keeping with receiving criticism and the writer’s super power of growing several layers of dragon scales for skin, is a quote that I read in On Writing by Stephen King. I highly recommend it to all writers, especially those in the early stages of writing and discovering their voice. Although this quote doesn’t necessarily relate to the writing process, it’s a regular occurrence for artists and can lead to self doubt and impostor syndrome – both of which negatively effect the ways we write.

A lot of us keep our writing in the closet (or our blogs) because of the reaction we get when we reveal to someone that you’re a writer and gasp plan to write full time for real money and no you’re not delusional. The general misconception that the only way to make money as a writer is by being a novelist with an absurd amount of luck, doesn’t help either.

Prior to saying this, King mentions a teacher scolding him for wasting his talents writing junk. I’m sure she went on to face palm herself into oblivion, but it goes to show how even someone who is now The Stephen King got more than a few sideways looks for spending his time writing short stories for fun and then for money. It takes confidence to be a writer and this doesn’t come quickly, especially when there can be a lot of having to justify why you’re doing it. I’m a nurse’s assistant and just recently started telling my co-workers that I stopped taking courses for nursing to pursue freelance writing instead, many of my co-workers are very supportive and want to read my blog, while others tell me to go back to nursing school because there’s no way to make a living as a writer. I used to run through a list of ways writers can make a living, but came to the realization that that was a real waste of my time.

Getting involved in the blogging community and indie writer community has been a great way for me to build confidence and “meet” other writers who are either exploring their voice or doing what I aim to do, which is a constant inspiration. Seeing writers do what so many consider impossible is motivation to carry on in your own work, and learn how to just (as the vernacularly challenged say) do you.

How do you cope with nay-sayers? Do you keep your writing online or are you vocal about it with people you know? Why do you think everyone and their mother has an opinion about you being a writer?

13 thoughts on “Craft Quote #8 – Overcoming Writer’s Doubt

      1. I just think that if you’re truly a writer, you’ll write whether you’re being paid or not. And there’s always going to be people that don’t like what you do, that’s just life. But, we have to love what we do enough to not give up, even in the face of adversity.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definitely. I think a huge reason a lot of writers give up writing is because they want to get rich selling their art, rather than using their love for writing to add something to the practical world.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m sure she went on to face palm herself into oblivion – haha!😂

    As for naysayers, tbh I dont have any, my ambitions are not as yet publicised. But I know people will react in the stereotypical way. “Writing? Like one word after another? But nobody does that. All books come from the skies, written by novel gods, no human writes a book.”

    Everyone laughs at the unsual. Writing for a living is unusual, but surely not that large a leap to make lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, when I tell people I’m a writer AND stopped nursing to do it, I get looks as if I’m a mad woman (and I am). I think you’ve gone about it the right way though, by getting a large body of work under you before telling everyone you’re a writer. So when you do start to tell others about it, any naysayers won’t be any bother for you. 🙂

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      1. I think us writers are all mad. Good on you for doing it. Screw peoples opinions. If being a writer isnt within their realm of possibilities they clearly dont have much imagination anyway.
        My route hasn’t been entirely intentional and still unpublished, but hopefully it’ll count for something one day ☺

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Listening to other people is the reason I went for nursing as a “back up plan” instead of pursuing my number one passion – there’ll be no more of that!

        You’ve been at it for a while, so if you just keep at it you can make it count for whatever you want.

        Liked by 1 person

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