Self doubt


As another semester at university nears an end, I can’t help but be filled with self-doubt. This past week or two, I have been busy writing two short stories for my Short Fiction class and a creative non-fiction piece for my Freelance Writing class. The short stories in particular, have me doubting myself.

I had a major case of writer’s block as I struggled with ideas. It’s not that I didn’t have an idea; it’s just that I squashed every idea I got because I thought it was crap or previously done. I finally ended up finishingΒ two stories on Sunday that are due to be workshopped in class tomorrow {Yeah, that always scares the hell out of me!}. But I look at one and think, ‘I’m sure I’ve read this somewhere before!’ and look at the other and feel like while the idea is there, I just haven’t executed it wellΒ at all.Β 

And then I feel like a fraud.

I’m constantly plagued with thoughts such as ‘As if I can write‘ and ‘What possessed me to do this — I’m crap at creativity‘. The problem is this self-doubt has slowly crept into my non-fiction writing. Which it shouldn’t given that blogging is a form of creative non-fiction most of the time. But it has. There are days I feel like I can’t write at all {yes, slight exaggeration there!} and other times I tell myself I’m ok and just push through.

But then I read some fantastic pieces — by other students in class {we have some great budding writers!}, by other bloggers {how do you guys do it?!} and freelance writers in magazines and newspapers {I want to be you!} — and I compare myself. I wish I could write half as well as some of them.

Like most writers or wannabe writers, I’d like to get published someday. Sure, I have one publication to my name but I would love to have more. It doesn’t have to be a big, fat award winning novel. I don’t think I could write that much! But you know, magazines would be great or even part of a short story or poetry anthology. Right now though, my brain tells me I will not get anywhere with any of that. And I should just give up.

Damn you, self-doubt.

How do you fight self-doubt and build confidence when writing?

Please share your tips!

***Linking with Jess for IBOT***

Image Source: Stocksnap

Until next time,


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  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    12 May 2015 at 8:24 am

    I am a shelver. Yep, I admit it. I shelve all my fears and self-consciousness (it’s a BIG shelf) and just do it anyway. It’s weird but it tends to pay off as I found the worst that can happen is…nothing really. sometimes I work for ages on a blog post. I perfect it, round it out, polish it and hit publish. Only to watch it bomb. Hardly any views and shares on social media. Only a couple of comments. It feels like crap but I keep on. Then I will publish something else that is maybe less polished and see it get heaps more interaction. I decided that I just can’t predict what people will be interested in or will like!
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    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      12 May 2015 at 10:51 pm

      Yeah I really need to learn to shelve my worries for a while…they consume my head! Thanks for that tip Amy!

  • elly stornebrink
    12 May 2015 at 9:02 am

    I so agree with Amy’s comment above Sanch. Some of my most fun and/or favourite posts hardly get recognized whereas the ones I do not care about so much (like ‘Darn those Socks’) hits the most popular blog posts! Go figure! So I say just keep writing and do it because it fills you. I know you already probably know this, but it doesn’t really matter what other people think or say about your writing…it is YOUR baby after all. πŸ˜‰ I think the worst thing you can do is to compare yourself as you day AND easy to do – I know as I’m one of them! πŸ˜‰ – though we just need to keep writing because it is our joy. Everything else is a moot point! πŸ™‚ <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…Gratitude List #4: Mothers etc.My Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      12 May 2015 at 10:53 pm

      You’re right Elly…it shouldn’t matter what people think about my writing but when it comes to creative pieces, it’s hard for me to think that way!

  • Deborah
    12 May 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Oh god yes… I don’t write because of it. I blog, but I’d like to do other writing. Although like you I struggle a little with other mediums. I’ve started a couple of novels (one via a course and one in NaNoWriMo) but am just not sure I’m cut out for it!

    Deborah recently posted…Book review: Baby It’s You by Joanne TraceyMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      12 May 2015 at 10:54 pm

      It’s heartening to know others go through the same worries Deb. Hopefully you will get those novels out and finish them off. πŸ™‚

  • simple girl
    12 May 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I read a lot of blogs.
    I love yours. I love how you write, simple and clear.
    I love to read your posts.
    You write well.. πŸ™‚
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  • Michelle@myslowlivingadventure
    12 May 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Writing is a tough gig, and that might be what you are feeling. It’s like anything though, the more you do, the better you get. Appreciate other writing, learn from it, but don’t let it crush your confidence. Comparison is a killer. Just be you!

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      12 May 2015 at 11:04 pm

      You’re right Michelle about the more you do something, the better you get. I guess I can see that even in my blogging style over the last 7 years. Comparison is so hard not to do though!!

  • Tonia Zemek
    12 May 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Hang in there Sanch. I thought this post was really nicely penned and so, so honest. I’m a newcomer to your blog and really hope you keep going because you’ve obviously got a lot to offer. x

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      12 May 2015 at 11:05 pm

      Welcome here Tonia! The blogging will certainly continue because it’s the one space I can spew all that’s in my head! πŸ˜›

  • Vanessa
    12 May 2015 at 7:31 pm

    I just ignore others. Ignore my brain. If I want to write, I will write. If it’s commercial, if it is successful….nothing I can tell about that until I finish.
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  • Grace
    12 May 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I was listening to a podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert talking to Richard Fidler . She talks about just “getting it done” don’t worry about how crap you think it is, and just write it all out. She said that her mother taught her a saying: “Done is better than good” and I realise that the posts I’ve wriiten in a flash without thinking too much about it’s quality are the ones that seem to flow best. That’s where I get my confidence in writing, I think. When I labour too long over it, the self doubt starts to creep in. Good luck with all your studies and assignments! You’re gonna nail it!
    Grace recently posted…Why I’m still going to BaliMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      12 May 2015 at 11:08 pm

      Ooh I should try and listen to that podcast. I remember you and a few other bloggers doing a post on her talk at All about women. Thank you Grace!

  • Renee Wilson
    12 May 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Yep, I hear you. Self-doubt can be a killer. I suffer terribly from it. I can imagine it’s hard to write creatively under pressure and to a deadline for an assignment, especially when you want to succeed so badly. Those negative thoughts can certainly make you spiral out of control. If I find myself talking negatively about myself I try to flip my talk on its head and turn every negative into a positive. Good luck!! #teamIBOT

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      12 May 2015 at 11:09 pm

      It’s funny Renee that in my day job, I’m constantly telling clients to challenge unhelpful thinking. I forget to do that myself!

  • JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    12 May 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Oh good old self-doubt. As a writer I can tell you it’s something that never passes, just something you have to get past! You’ll do it. Just keep swimming πŸ™‚
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  • Bikram
    12 May 2015 at 11:02 pm

    I think its the way it is .. You have visited me so many times now and I am sure even you can see that the comments on some silly article are much more than a proper article πŸ™‚

    I think a little bit of self doubt is good too it keeps one in CHECK.. if you know what i mean.. does not let us fly away with the wind

    You will be fine just take a deep breath and Start writing .. go go go go go πŸ™‚

    All the best
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  • Parul
    13 May 2015 at 12:00 am

    Have you heard of the Imposter Syndrome? Google and read it..Women suffer from this more than men and time and again, I get that feeling too..

    Coming over to your writing – you are fabulous. PERIOD!
    So, just get over all that self doubt and trash it out! πŸ™‚
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  • Nibha
    13 May 2015 at 4:59 am

    Oh! Writer’s block is the worst thing to happen when your mind is full of ideas and still the paper in front of us remains blank! Yes, self-doubt about writing fills my heart too specially when I compare myself to fellow writers and authors! But in the end, we all are unique with our own different writing styles, aren’t we? Cheer up!
    Nibha recently posted…Goodbye, Until I Visit Again- #DelhiDiaryMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      20 May 2015 at 3:23 pm

      I think writer’s block occurs thanks to self-doubt! I need to remember that we all have our unique voice!

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    13 May 2015 at 6:36 am

    Kick that self-doubt to the kerb. You can write Sanch and you are investing time and money into learning how to write even better. Comparison never helps anyone so try to ignore that human need to compare your work to others and do what you do best. Run your own race. That’s always helped me through my moments of professional fear and self doubt x
    Kirsty @ My Home Truths recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: The Beauty of WaterMy Profile

  • Aditi
    13 May 2015 at 8:19 am

    Sanch, I think every writer/aspiring writer can connect with this post. We all have gone through this vicious cycle of self doubt and yes its easy to be pulled down by it. But we somehow should fight it and write without thinking of criticism, like you wrote this post! Love! And it will happen! πŸ™‚
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  • Sid
    14 May 2015 at 6:25 pm

    As someone who both writes fiction and has plenty of episodes of self-doubt, I can only say that you just have to write. Yes, sometimes the stories look familiar. Let’s be honest though, there are only a limited number of stories. How you say/write it and how you adapt it to make it your own, is often the real journey. And it isn’t really wrong to be ‘influenced’ by something that has happened or that you’ve read.
    As for self-doubt, try and shelve it somewhere. And just keep writing. Get someone else to read it and when they compliment you, each of those lovely words will behave as a nail in the coffin for this dreaded self doubt.
    You write very well, Sanch. Just stay strong.
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  • J.Gi Federizo
    15 May 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I agree with Amy and Elly. For such a long time, one of my most-viewed posts, if not it actually being my most-viewed post then, was an image I made and posted, saying “I DISLIKE,” as simple as that. LOL!!!!

    Hang in there. Maybe you’re still having A to Z hangover? πŸ˜‰
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  • Nat
    18 May 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Oh God, yes! I know self-doubt all too well. It had its hold on me for quite a while. There was a time before my blog existed that I wanted to write, I loved to write, but had so much self-doubt, I didn’t believe I was any good and that it was a stupid idea and I’d never be able to do it.

    Fast forward to now, I have a few freelance social media/email marketing clients and I’m writing for one of my clients! Web content, email newsletters and all sorts!! πŸ™‚

    There’s still some self-doubt, but I just have to remind myself where I am now and how much I’ve achieved since timidly starting my blog in August 2013. At the start I was even too shy to share my blog posts on my personal Facebook!
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