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The Writer's Self Doubt Checklist


I'm not making any claims as to the truth or untruth of any of these statements. This is simply a list of the self-doubt I often feel as a writer. The honest thoughts that sometimes cause me to lock up for a bit. I only write these down because maybe you've felt the same way and it might be nice to know you're not the only one.

I'm not posting this to tell you how I overcome these thoughts. I don't know if I ever will. I simply write and draw because I don't know how to be anyone else (and I have very similar self doubt about my art. I'll save that for another post). I'm posting this in the hopes that it rings true with other writers. Because if all or most writers have thoughts like this, then these thoughts, whether true or not, are just part of being a writer.

I think these are mostly lies but like most lies that really take hold, they find their power in containing a small amount of truth.

  • I don't have "it". Everyone else has it figured out. They have what audiences, agents and publishers are looking for. I just don't.

  • Why would anyone spend their time reading this when there is so much other great stuff out there to read?

  • Everything I think is funny isn't actually funny.

  • Most people wonder why I waste so much time on this stuff, they just don't say it.

  • My dependency on structure proves I'm a bad writer.

  • I'm giving up time with my family to write something nobody cares about.

  • It's not that it needs to be rewritten again, it' that I am a bad writer and nobody will want to read it anyway.

  • Everyone is too nice to tell me how bad you I am.

  • I fooled everyone for a while there while I was getting paid, but at some point my luck will run out and I'll have to admit I never knew how to write in the first place.

  • Because I never went to college I'll never be able to compete with all the other writers who did.

  • I think people will relate to this, but they won't. They'll just think I'm weird.

If you struggle with the same thoughts, or have another to add to the list, please add it in the comments. Afterwards we can all have a big group hug.


-Ethan


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