Inside a Writer's Mind

Inside a Writer's Mind
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -- Oscar Wilde

Friday, 15 July 2011

Fiction Writer's Doubts

I recently had a conversation with a writer friend, who is working on his second novel. His first, a YA novel, was published a couple of years ago and has done well. Both in terms of sales and critical appraisals. He was very honest and told me he was losing confidence in his ability to complete his next book. And, he wondered, if the first one had been just a ‘fluke’.

I reminded him of what he’d achieved with his previous effort and tried to encourage him. Ultimately I’m sure he’ll get past this patch and write another great book. But what struck me was the crushing self doubt he was feeling.  

Even though I’ve read about ‘second book syndrome’ I'd thought that sort of doubt in your ability to 'just finish the thing...' was an affliction of the yet-to-be-published-debut-novelist (i.e. me), and that when you'd had some success in terms of getting a book out there, a lot of that doubt would lift like morning mist.

But not so.

Maybe self doubt goes hand in hand with writing. With any thing that involves putting yourself out there. And maybe that’s a part of what makes it so hard, and ultimately, so rewarding.

And maybe, it’s out of that conflict between self doubt and self belief that the whispers of creativity come.


Keep writing.

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