Happy Friday! To end this week, I’d like to highlight the talent of my assistant and apprentice editor, Andrew Wood. In fact, for those who enjoy the posts here on the Epic Fantasy Writer blog, Andrew is my front line, helping me prepare guest posts, and proofreading my own posts before I publish them.
Andrew is also an epic fantasy author, with his debut novel, Storm of Fury, now available on Amazon! Be sure to check it out. Meanwhile, Andrew has put together a great article about overcoming doubt, which I hope you all enjoy!
My name is Andrew Wood and I’m a writer of epic fantasy. My first novel, Storm of Fury, was recently published through Inkshares and I’m excited to share it with you! I’ve been pursuing my dream job as a writer for five years, and devote my time to writing novels and honing my craft.
I love stories. Whether they be books, movies, video games or comics, I’m always on the hunt for more. I grew up on books like Redwall, the Wheel of Time and Harry Potter, and from stories like these my love of writing grew. Now I work full-time to tell the stories I have in my heart, and finally force them on to paper where they belong.
You can find me on Patreon, where I release monthly horror, fantasy and sci-fi short stories.
There is a voice inside every one of us. In we authors, it sits over our shoulders and watches us as we work. It tells us that our writing isn’t good enough. It tells us to give up and it saps us of our strength. Sometimes the voice vanishes for weeks on end. Other times it persists for days.
I’ve wrestled with this voice since I first sat down at an old computer and jotted down a few story ideas I had bouncing around in my strange little mind. And with the birth of my writing came that voice. Let’s call him Doubt.
Doubt comes with us everywhere we go, and he sticks his nose in our business, sullying our day and making us shine the light of scrutiny on ourselves. While that isn’t always a bad thing, Doubt’s negative ramifications far outweigh the positive.
So, as writers, what can we do to defeat Doubt? How do we push aside the voice that says we can’t do it and tell ourselves that we can? In my experience, I use three methods to push on and recognize what I can really do.
1. Take a Break
Sometimes my doubt comes when I’ve been working too long or I’m overthinking a particular project that’s been taking over my mind. If this is happening to you, step away from your writing. Go watch a TV show, walk a mile, have something to eat. Laugh. Don’t think. Don’t write until your mind has a chance to refresh itself.
When you come back, if you’re still having trouble, switch projects if you can. I find that if I can’t stand to look at my novel, I’ll go and work on a short story or do something fun with my writing just to get my mind off of the other project for the day. It’s all right if you’re having trouble here too. The brain is not meant to be over-worked, and sometimes it’s best to just call it a day.
2. Outwork the Voice
Sometimes Doubt comes at the most inopportune times. You have deadlines to meet or word count goals you want to reach before work tomorrow. But the voice will not leave you. It throws shame or writer’s block in your face and there is no time to relieve it.
Press on. Put words down. Whether they’re terrible or not doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they exist. They’re yours, and they deserve to be down on paper. The beautiful thing about writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time. You have edits and revisions to go back and perfect what you’ve written. But for now, you must have the skeleton upon which you can build better writing. Get that out now, and leave doubt and perfection for another day.
3. The Voice of Doubt is Yours
This is the key to Doubt. It might seem like an imperious, all-knowing foe that can judge your writing with immaculate scrutiny. This is false, because the voice of doubt is your own, reacting in fear to the possibility that you might not be good enough.
Much like Doubt’s judgment is false, so too is the concept that you aren’t good enough. You are good enough, and your writing is awesome. Once you realize this and unmasked Doubt for who he really is, you can begin to understand that he is not a part of you that you need give voice. Ignore it. Silence it, and it will go away.
When the voice of Doubt seems insurmountable, remember that it only has as much power as you give it. Put an end to its ramblings and realize that you are in charge here, and that your writing matters, no matter what people might say. Or what you say, when you’re feeling down.
You may not be able to escape Doubt, but that’s okay. If you can find your own way to overcome it and push forward, you realize that it’s not as powerful as you might think. I still struggle with doubt every week, but I know I can put it aside and be confident in my own writing. They key is being confident in yourself, and the rest will follow.
Do you have any preferred methods of dealing with doubt? How do you do it? Comment on the post and share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you! And a special thanks to John Robin for the opportunity to share a post on his site!
Be sure to check out Andrew’s brand new epic fantasy novel, Storm of Fury!
For as long as Kaven can remember, Lantrelia has been at war. Yet its foe is not flesh and blood, but the eternal rage of the god Na’lek. Incarnate in a mighty storm called the Fury, Na’lek’s rage has butchered mankind by sending forth armies of supernatural monsters. Soon, the Fury’s attacks will sweep humanity away.
Determined to become a war hero like his father, Kaven sets out on a treacherous quest to stop Na’lek. With only three companions to aid him, he plans to enter the heart of the Fury and face the god himself to plead for mankind’s deliverance. Yet nothing can prepare Kaven for the truth he will encounter, for far greater forces are at work, and his quest, if successful, will come at great cost.
Will he put an end to Na’lek’s storm of Fury and prove his worth to his father? Or is his duty to his fellow man more important, even if it means he is a failure as a son?
Storm of Fury is now available as an ebook for $2.99 and a paperback for $15.99!
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