A few weeks ago, I was fervently writing two short stories for uni. Well, I was attempting to write. I had a couple of ideas in terms of topics but I just couldn’t get the words down. I blamed writer’s block. One of the guys in my class later told me there is no such thing as writer’s block. And I know he’s right.
It wasn’t writer’s block that made it difficult for me to write. It was self-doubt.
Even though I had a rough idea of the stories, they just didn’t seem good enough. Eventually, when I wrote, I felt I hadn’t executed it well enough. The self-doubt and negativity tore through me. I finally finished it but thought it was a half-arsed job. Of course, as part of uni, I had to share my drafts with my classmates to get constructive feedback. And the feedback surprised me.
There were changes to make but most people liked my ideas and my story and thought the execution worked except for certain sections. They gave me ideas to tweak those sections and I finally handed in my assignment yesterday. I still think other people write better than me but in the end, my stories have my voice. And that’s something important to remember when self-doubt strikes.
When you are stuck while writing, here’s some things to remember:
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, compare yourself to your past writing. You will grow that way. The former will only hinder that growth.
You have your unique voice. While stories have a certain formula, remember you are adding your unique voice to that formula.
Be courageous. Show your work to those who can be constructive. Let them tell you what works and what doesn’t.
You learn from your mistakes. It’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to be imperfect. You learn from it all.
Just write. Keep writing. Don’t edit. Don’t worry about formatting. Don’t worry about tense. You can work on all that later.
Believe in yourself. Replace the self-doubt with self-belief. You wouldn’t have a blog or be in a creative writing course if you couldn’t write. So there.
Like I said before, we all have a story in us. We just need help in getting it out.
Do you think there is such a thing as writer’s block? Or is it something we do to ourselves?
***Linking with Write Tribe Festival of Words 4**
Until next time,