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Monday, September 26, 2016

Dear “I’m the Worst Writer Ever!” Writer

Dear “I’m the Worst Writer Ever!” Writer,

I can guarantee you that every writer has said they're the worst writer ever at least once. More likely, several times. Even New York Times Best-Sellers have said this at one time or another. I’m sure some of them still do. When best-sellers can think their writing is crap, aren’t we in good company?

I used to have these thoughts whenever I read a really good, vividly written book. I’d sit there with the book in my hands, my jaw unhinged, and I’d be thinking, I don’t write like this. Over time, as I grew as a writer, I stopped having these thoughts. I came to realize I don’t need to write like the authors I admired, because I write like myself, and that is good enough.

You don’t need to be like anyone else or write like anyone else. You are enough. Your writing is enough.

There are some things you can do to help your confidence, though:

1. Take a writing improvement course or a writing class at your local college. Universal Class offers online courses. You can take as many as you want with a one-year subscription that costs $189. They have writing and grammar courses.

2. Go to writing workshops or seminars. Many can be found online.

3. Read books on the writing craft.

4. Join writing groups. This could be critique groups or organizations like Romance Writers of America.

Daily mantras for you to say to yourself:

- I am a good writer. 
- I may not write like [name of your favorite author], but I write like [your name].
- My words mean something. 
- My books will get published because God gave me this passion and these story ideas for a reason.

Believe these mantras with every fiber of your being, send it out to the universe, and they will happen.

Author of Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Blogger. Reader. Auntie. Vegetarian. Cat Lover.

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Bish Denham said...

I so hear you. I wanted to write like Steinbeck so bad when I was hunger. Took me a while to let that one go and trust to the development of my own style. (But yeah, I still have those doubts.)

Chrys Fey said...

@Bish, I think we all wanted to write like one author when we were younger (and maybe still do). For me, it was Nora Roberts.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you're reading something you wrote a while ago, just remember that you've improved since then. You're not the worst writer ever now.

Liza said...

I just keep remembering how many wonderful writers there are out there. Why not one more?

Liz A. said...

It's fine to just be you. Although, it's good to read good writers and strive to get better. But I think many of us would be surprised to find that others admire the way we write.

dolorah said...

Its been so long since I went to a class or conference; or even read a book on writing craft. Man, I'm so out of it. Ugh.

Huntress said...

"...because God gave me this passion..."

Unknown said...

thanks for this post :D

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I like reading books about writing, especially the ones by Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg. I have doubts about my own writing sometimes. Even though I know I shouldn't, sometimes I have doubts about other people's writing too, even though they're successful (E.L. James and her 50 Shades of Grey series, anyone?).

Janie Junebug said...

I'm the best righter ever. AARR!


Unknown said...

It took me a long time to accept that it was okay to just write like me. I'm glad I got there but I'll probably always fiddle around with my style, such as it is.

diedre Knight said...

Thanks for such an uplifting post! True, reading is essential to writing. But we should never compare ourselves. Easy to say, right?

Chrys Fey said...

@Alex, YES! I've read things I wrote years ago and have cringed. But I know I've improved. :)

@Liza, exactly. Why not one more? Why not ten more? ;)

@Liz, it's true that others can admire our writing and we don't even know it.

@Dolorah, well, you can start again. Now. :D

@Huntress, glad you liked that part.

@Zahra, you're very welcome!

@Neurotic, E.L. James...*sigh*...yes, many of us have doubted her writing, too. But I guess we can't doubt her success. ;)

@Janie, HAHAHA!!!

@Kathleen, fiddling with out styles is a good thing to do.

@Diedre, it is easy to say, but after a while, it can become reality. I was awful at comparing myself, but now I can just enjoy really good writing without bringing myself down, too.

Travis Erwin said...

Don't forget keep battling. Those doubts are easier to fight off once you've won a few battles.