Wednesday 24 September 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 33: “A bout of doubt”

I’m currently going through the writer blues. Confidence is falling by the wayside.

I’ve spent a large part of the day mulling over a decision regarding the future of my writing and wondering what I’m really trying to do. My obstacles derive from three sources.


Writing is lonely. It sounds obvious; everyone has that image of an author sat behind their desk typing away until the early hours of the morning. We’re regarded as reclusive control freaks who are just a little bit crazy.

Technology has changed this a little in the last couple of years and writers from the four corners of the globe are now able to chat, assist and share their work without having to leave the comfort of those desks they love so much. There are online writing groups, blogs and social media apps to help bond people with similar interests.

And yet I still don’t seem to have anyone I’m really able to talk to about writing.

Last year I joined a ten week evening class on creative writing and it was amazing. After that awkward first session where everyone mumbles and protects their stories with a passion I found I was among a really great group of people. Each week we all gained confidence and became eager to share our projects with each other. I grew to respect both my fellow student’s and my teacher’s opinion with regards to what I was writing. It wasn’t always positive and that was great.

But now I don’t know how I’m doing. Even this blog, despite crossing 3000 views yesterday, feels like it’s lost in the darkest regions of the galaxy, drifting among the twinkling pin pricks, lost to anyone’s attention.


When I started this back in February I thought that December was a reasonable target to get a single project released as an e-book. Ten months seemed like a gift if I was only going to limit myself to getting just seven short stories bundled together in a nice package and jettisoned out into the world.

But I forgot one simple ingredient in the recipe; me.

Up until February I had accumulated thirty four and a half years of experience as to what I’m like as a person. I have a minute attention span, I’m fickle like you wouldn’t believe and I have a million new ideas a day arriving in my brain.

So did I really think I could stick to one thing and get it done? You bet I did.

Do I deserve a slap in the face with a cold, wet fish because of that naivety? You bet I do.

So far this year I’ve attempted to work on seven short pieces, enter several writing competitions, start a novella that wasn’t even on the radar, add book reviews to the blog, add a weekly flash fiction challenge to my repertoire (with plans to join another if they’ll have me) and start a whole new epic project that I want to get off the ground come January.

(Greed + Impatience) – Restraint = #@!%$

And now that were nearing October, as the nights grow colder, what have I got to show for it? Nowt, unless you include the blog and that just shows people what not to do.


This is the worst of the three and it’s going to sound needy but just hear me out.

You see, when I really think about it . . . I’m not a very good writer.

The best way to explain what I mean by this is to compare my stories to movies. When I come up with an idea, be it short fiction or novel length, I see it in my mind like it was on an IMAX screen with Dolby Surround (I’ve mentioned before how I sometimes use movie soundtracks to plan a ‘trailer’ version of my stories before writing them).

I, like many writers, would love to write that Oscar winning film that draws the crowds and gets people talking; the one that has amazing characters, quotable dialogue and a deep, twisting plot with something to really say about the world we live in.

What actually comes out is DTV nonsense with paper thin characters, clichéd dialogue and no plot (or subplots) to be seen. It’s all big explosions, crazy action and predictable events.

I see competition winner’s work and it’s amazing. Never have I thought that someone didn’t deserve their place as number one. It’s that moment when I take a fresher look at my work and see how empty and basic it is.


Photo by Daran Kandasamy

I guess that leaves me kind of floating in a void. I would like to say what I want to do next but that hasn’t worked out so well in the past.

I guess we’ll just have to see where I am come December 31st.

How about you guys? Anyone out there going through the same hic-cup in confidence? Perhaps you’re suffering a feeling of solitude too? Or maybe you’re just struggling to get feedback on your current project? Would love to hear from you.

Until then I’m going off to learn self-control and make some friends.

See you in seven.


  1. I am definitely with you on the confidence thing. Actually, I'm with you with pretty much this whole post. But I have such a hard time coming up with new ideas. It's very rare. And I always have that feeling that my writing isn't good enough even though I want it to blow people's minds. Oh well. We should just keep writing, I suppose.

  2. That we should. Thank you for you comment.

    I read your 'Book Realization' posts and it sounded like you'd taken a pretty big knock. I know it didn't turn out how you wanted but points to you for making the effort to even push your work out their. Glad you bounced back and good luck for November.

    What doesn't kill us , and all that.