Self Doubt, Thou Art a Bitch

Happy first Wednesday to writers everywhere and all you A-Z Challenge Bloggers—I wish you good luck, a whole lot of sanity and a happy month of writing 🙂

IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) posts the first Wednesday of every month and is a place to share your worries and doubts and fears and all those other fun elements of what it means to be a writer. Started by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh, you can find more information about the group along with the blog hop list here. So go visit, make some friends and be cheered up that you’re not in this alone in this crazy lifestyle 🙂

My insecurity this month (and kind of like, my entire life) is that awesome enemy of creativity: self doubt.

Because the past week or so, one thought’s been circulating every time I open the laptop.

What the fuck am I doing?

I’ll reread a few paragraphs and squint in dismay. DISMAY at what I wrote. And then I think, uh, how long have you been writing, girl? And you came up with that? Sheesh.

We all go through it; I know we do. Doesn’t soften the blow when you reread your words and sit there contemplating if you really hated being a receptionist that much because hey, they have good health insurance and potlucks once a month. So maybe it’s better to not go for your dreams and decide to be more practical because no one’s going to want to read your shitty words anyway. Am I right, guys?


Fuck being a receptionist and having awesome health insurance and eating at work potlucks. I can microwave my own damn food and avoid falling into pot holes and work on what really matters, not typing up someone else’s agenda or answering phones and directing calls. Because even though my words suck today, I’ll make them better tomorrow or next week. Writing is rewriting. Faith is believing even when you’re squinting in dismay and seriously considering going for your third glass of wine because what the hell are you doing with your life.

So repeat after me:


What about you? Have you been feeling good about your work lately? Or are you struggling with motivation and faith? Tell me I’m not the only one who plays this wine-inducing questioning game on a regular basis. Please.

Oh self doubt, thou art a bitch.

34 thoughts on “Self Doubt, Thou Art a Bitch

  1. Stephen Tremp says:

    Self doubt needs to be escorted outside and given a restraining order. Good thing I still have a bit of a rebel still in me so I don;t care about self doubt any more.

  2. Madeline Mora-Summonte says:

    Yep, struggling with focus, faith and loss of creativity. I’ll find it again though. Soon. I hope.

    And for me, it’s not so much wine as it is chocolate (as my writer’s butt can attest to.)

    • cgcoppola says:

      Oh, don’t get me wrong: chocolate is definitely there when I make my wine run. I just feel better defending something with antioxidents.

      This self doubt will weigh you down but keep looking for that focus and faith and creativity. It’s there. It’s always there.

  3. Nicki Elson says:

    I want this blogpost title on a T-shirt! You are not alone.

    I think the ability to not see every single thing you write through delusional-colored “this is awesome!” glasses is what separates real writers from wannabes — being able to cut through your own work to make it better is a gift. And wine makes the process a whole lot more fun.

    • cgcoppola says:

      Yes, it most certainly does. It’s the cringing I fear and I seem to be cringing a lot lately. It’s just part of the oh-so-fun process 🙂

  4. lexacain says:

    Some days are harder to get through than others. I’m glad you’re enthused to power through and keep writing. Yes, it will get better!

    • cgcoppola says:

      It usually does. It’s the remembering part that gets me. Because when I read first draft/second draft stuff, I recoil and grow embarrassed to know my work is out there – on the interwebs! But then I calm down and BREATHE. “It’s just a first draft… this will get better… you went through the same thing with the other books.” Talking myself through it helps.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Joleene Naylor says:

    Heh, I just had a book release so you can guess where I’m at. Hint: I’m probably certifiable at the moment.

    I haven’t read you current WIP but if the writing is anything like the others (and I’m sure it is) then it is going to be awesome! Your dialogue is great, your character development, your pacing… I could go on but then I’d sound fan-girly 😉

  6. cgcoppola says:

    Aw, Joleene! *blushes*

    Hey, congrats on the book release! I still have a few to go before I’m caught up on all the excitement. And I bet you are certifiable 😉 i don’t see how you wouldn’t be!

  7. Liz Blocker says:

    I LOVE THIS POST. Hell yes, we shall conquer this bitch.

    I have days when everything I have ever written, everything I am currently working on, is the world’s worst pile of shit. I’ve learned through long experience that it’s not ACTUALLY that bad; I just seem to have self-doubt lenses on. Those days, I close my laptop, and do something to shift my brain: go for a run, meditate, read a really good book. Then I head back to the computer when the lenses have cleared.

    • cgcoppola says:

      It’s true… it’s those damn self-doubt lenses. But you’re spot on. I find that on days when I’m like “why even bother” it’s best to NOT write and do something else. Clears the mind a little 🙂

  8. V del Casal says:

    You and Batman could always go into business together as snake wranglers. 🙂 No potlucks (although those snakes DO have to go somewhere….). No awesome insurance (this is probably a bad idea if you’re snake wrangling). BUT THEN you’ll have awesome stories to tell —> creative writing juices flow like a fountain = published author! Win win!

  9. Mason T. Matchak says:

    I’m with you on this, completely. Things have been going well for me lately, but the cynic in me knows that’ll turn around sometime down the road. Odds are good I’ll need to come back to this entry (and several others I’ve bookmarked with similar messages) to remind myself that it’s all worth it and that what I think sucks now might actually be good when I look at it tomorrow.

    And if the fact that I have several anti-self-doubt blog entries bookmarked doesn’t show that we all go through this, nothing will. Eh heh heh…

    • cgcoppola says:

      Exactly. You’re not alone, dude,

      Just shut your cynic up. Or pay him no attention. Or go out, get drunk together and leave him at the bar and start anew the next morning.

  10. Loni Townsend says:

    I doubt myself all the time. 🙂 But having read your work, I have to say, I think you’re doing pretty darn well with your writing. Rise and conquer because you are worthy!

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