Writers, are you too tough on yourself?

As a writer, it’s easy to feel insecure. Even after you’ve completed your first precious draft, even after you’ve won a competition or two, even after a publisher says the magic word. Even when you see copies of what was once a dream on the shelves of your favourite book store.


I suspect that even the best selling authors, those who have millions of readers, share moments of doubt. Because writers, by necessity are also editors. And editors are brutal creatures. We have to seek and destroy everything that’s not working. But the razor sharp mind that creates magic out of dust, can also crush dreams if not kept in check.

When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.
— Stephen King

The solution? Make a firm appointment with the warrior goddess of words. Let her revise, review and critique to her brutal heart’s content. But afterwards, show her out of your head and into the night. And then make another date with your dreamy, magical, mystical muse.

“One must give himself completely to his art and not hold back. Throw caution to the wind. Embrace the muse. Make love to your art.” 
– Harley King

Honour and appreciate the messier, poetic and inspirational side of your mind. Clink a glass of champagne, or sparkling rose petal infused mineral water, together and celebrate how awesome you are. You wrote words today. Yay. You thought up some great dialogue while you were in the shower. You legend! You read a book by your favourite author and felt inspired. That’s fantastic. Be proud of you.

mood-nature-river-water-90771.jpeg Writing is all about balance. It’s knowing when to be tough and when to be kind.

Be tough

Be kind

Keep writing.

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
– Edgar Rice Burroughs