Monday, 1 October 2018

Guest Post: Believe in Your Writing, and Yourself by Andrew McDowell...

Sylvia Plath said the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. Yet the simple fact is every writer who is serious about his or her work will face it. I’m sure every writer can agree that they are their own worst critic. Ever since I became serious about my writing and getting published, I’ve been plagued by self-doubt and still am. Battling self-doubt is never easy, but it cannot be avoided either. So how can you overcome it?

Well, after you’ve invested so much time into a project, and so much passion, it becomes impossible not to see it through, which ties back to two of the Four P’s of Getting Published: patience and persistence. These virtues combined demonstrate the reverse of self-doubt: self-confidence. Certainly sometime it might not seem to exist, but even if you cannot see it, it must be there if you’ve waited and endured so long to see your writing become the best it can be.

Some writers see it instead as a challenge, one that you should enjoy taking on. Now that delight often only seems present in the moment; especially one has completed the first draft or the final one. But when it comes, relish in it, because you didn’t give up. You cannot sell yourself short, however much it or the world may seem to tell you to. If you give up, then self-doubt has won the battle, and your creativity will wither and die.

Yet as I previously stated, self-doubt is unavoidable. I continue to endure it even as I persevere. So what to do then? Well, self-doubt is rooted in fear – the fear of being rejected and criticized. We all feel fear. It too is unavoidable, something which Saershe states in my novel Mystical Greenwood. So the simple fact is it’s no use denying the presence of fear and self-doubt. And yet, that is how it can be defeated.

As Saershe tells my protagonists, one must accept that they feel fear to grow stronger, and only when acknowledging and face fear can one overcome it. That’s because by acknowledging you feel fear and self-doubt, it takes away its power to stop you. You will constantly battle it, and you won’t emerge unscathed, but you will emerge nonetheless, because your self-confidence endured and you believed in your writing, and yourself.

Further Reading
  1. Ambers, Lorraine. Dream Big and Don’t Hold You Back.
  2. Ambers, Lorraine. Positive quotes: Don’t Fear.
Book Blurb:
Mystical Greenwood, Book I of One with Nature

Dermot is a fifteen-year-old boy living in the land of DenĂº who has always longed for something more in life. His life changes when he encounters a gryphon and a mysterious healer. Drawn into a conflict against one determined to subjugate the kingdom, Dermot and his brother Brian are forced to leave their home.

A legendary coven must now reunite, for they are DenĂº’s greatest hope. In the course of meeting unicorns and fighting dragons and men in dark armor, Dermot discovers a deep, sacred magic which exists within every greenwood he crosses through, but his own role in this conflict is greater than he suspects. Can he protect those he loves, or will all that’s good be consumed by darkness?

Author Bio:
Andrew McDowell wanted to be a writer since he was a teenager. He studied at St. Mary’s College, and the University of Maryland for grad school. He is a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association and an associate nonfiction editor with the literary journal JMWW. Andrew has also written and published poetry and creative nonfiction. To learn more about him and his writing, visit his website and blog at

Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google+ | Tumblr


  1. Great advice, Andrew! All the best in all your publishing endeavors! Cheers!

  2. What a great article! Thank you for posting it.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Becky! Andrew is phenomenal and gives awesome advice for writers. Cheers!

  3. Thank you for this post - we need to share these feelings and know we are all up against the same very natural process of handling self doubt. Well done!