Category: dilemma

How I got over my self-doubt this time

This week has been another brutal week in world affairs.

I feel quite selfish talking about my own struggles with trivial words on a page when there is pain and death in the lives of so many others.

But this week, I’ve really battled with self-doubt and motivation. I was sick of Evangeline and didn’t want to write another word about her. I was convinced I was writing a bunch of rubbish and would never be able to write again. Blah, blah, blah. Self-indulgent writers rant.

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Self-doubters of the world unite

I’m in the first weeks of a new novel. Actually it’s Book 3 of my Monolith series.

I don’t believe anyone ever suspects how completely unsure I am of my work and myself and what tortures of self-doubting the doubt of others has always given me – Tennessee Williams

While many of the characters are familiar old friends and the world is a place I know well,  I’ve transitioned from ‘close to final’ edits (fingers crossed) of Book 1 to a brand new blank page.

My brain is comparing my poorly structured Book 3 vomit draft with my almost complete Book 1.

Next to Book 1 with its 18 months of hard graft and polish, Book 3 feels like a steamy pile of poo. I am the super hack.

I do have high standards. I look at everything I have done and think, ‘Why wasn’t that better?’ Part of my motivation is from crippling self-doubt – I have got to prove myself wrong – Michael Palin

But misery loves company.

Rather than cheer myself up with positive quotes and affirmations, I’ve collated a bunch of other doubters. Doubters who are much more successful than me.

What still concerns me the most is: am I on the right track, am I making progress, am I making mistakes in art? – Paul Gauguin

Self-doubt is part of the process.

No fine work can be done without concentration and self-sacrifice and toil and doubt. – Max Beerbohm

So I’ll acknowledge it and…

Have you got a favourite doubter quote?

Writing dilemma – who’s my target audience?

Today’s writing dilemma…should I write for a specific audience or write for myself?

In my day job, I’ve been a product manager for ah-hem years. Rule #1 being – know your customer and develop a product to meet your customer’s needs. For years I’ve been analysing and getting to know my “target market”.

But when it comes to my writing, I don’t really know who my target audience is.

I’m writing a book I’d like to read and couldn’t find. In the wise words of the incredible Toni Morrison….

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

But then I’m busting another rule of marketing – don’t market to yourself. Cos that’s a pretty small market. I’m not going to buy my own book!

Confusion reigns.

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This is today’s dilemma…how do you approach your writing? Do you have a specific audience in mind or do you write to interest yourself?

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