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From the Blog: Finding Your Way Through Self-Doubt

Another day, another challenge. For a lot of writers (and you know you are one) that means writer’s block and self-doubt. But, not all is lost.

When you are going through writer’s block, you are lost in a maze or thoughts, words, and ideas. Ideas that you think aren’t good enough. Words that just won’t work in the scenario. Thoughts that come from anything and anywhere. Use them. Here’s some tips:

1. Lists

Create another document or use another piece of paper and write down all the different ideas that you have when you get stuck in writer’s block. Yes, all of them. Or at least most of them.

2. Take Breaks

Take a break and explore. This could mean going outside and exploring nature or it could mean taking a break from the world and exploring yourself.

3. Draw from Life

Use real life events to shape your story. Let’s say that your book is about a parallel universe where every day your character becomes someone else and is in someone else’s life. Have there be a time where you include something embarrassing or funny that you or someone else did in real life, such as tapping someone you mistook as a friend and having no idea who the person is when they face you.

4. Get Real

Just be yourself. Take a break from the fake and delve into yourself. If you feel insecure about something, or mad, angry, sad, disappointed, depressed, anxious — really anything you feel like you can’t talk to anyone about — write it down. Make a character go through what you are. Have your emotions be dumped onto a character or group of characters. It’ll help you feel better and only a few people will suspect that you are going through or went through the same problems.

5. Don't Lose Hope

Last one, never give up. I know you probably hear that a lot, but it’s true. You are unique and you shine in your own way.

J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Dr. Suess, Louisa May Alcott, Suzanne Collins, and so many other authors were rejected several times before being published. Suzanne Collins' book The Hunger Games was rejected sixty times before being published. Harry Potter was rejected twelve times and Dr. Suess was rejected twenty-seven times before publication. And yet, after all the rejections they got, they still ended up having bestselling books and their names are well known. Yours could be too.

No matter what happens and what you are told, you are a writer. No matter if you’re rich or poor, girl or boy, you are a writer. And you can use your weaknesses and strengths as an advantage in your stories. Write about them in amusing or serious ways. You don’t have to listen to what anyone says. Just listen to your character. You might not even want to listen to yourself, because everyone is full of doubt. Especially self-doubt. But, if your character speaks to you, listen. They probably have some pretty good ideas.

If you feel yourself thinking of your writing as a chore, challenge yourself. Give yourself a challenge such as getting to a certain scene that you have planned by the end of the week. You already know the scene, so now it’s time to get your characters to the scene. Maybe get them through a magical jungle or through a cave. Or maybe it’s more realistic and your characters have to navigate through a busy school. Either way, just try to achieve your goal.

If you want your goal to be active, try a step-by-step goal. Literally. Not a goal where it is planned out, step-by-step, but a literal step-by-step goal. For example, every five steps you take, write a word. Or maybe after a workout or bike ride. So long as you think it is achievable.

Lastly, block out the negative voices. If you get criticism, remember that many famous authors did too. Or maybe challenge the criticizer to write a novel in a month. See how many complaints you get after that! Don’t stress about what people will and will not like because everyone has different tastes. Your book might be disliked by some, but I guarantee that there will be many people who love it.

Julianna Trudden is a twelve year old from Ohio and enjoys reading, writing, baking, and listening to music. She loves to read young adult fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and basically anything dystopian or paranormal. So far she has completed one novel and is working on two more. A lot of novels, short stories, and poems have been started by her and left unfinished for days, months, or years. Julianna has done NaNoWriMo for two years and really enjoyed writing this blog!

Top photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash.

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