Let’s Talk…Nerves and Doubt Demons with Jodie Griffin

It’s open post month, so I’m going to talk about something nearly every published author deals with….nerves! It doesn’t seem to matter if you’ve got one book out, or twenty. At some point, most of us think the same things:

  • This book SUCKS.
  • No one will ever want to read this.
  • I wish I could write like (insert favorite author’s name here).
  • What makes me think anyone is going to buy this?

I can probably come up with more, but you get the point.

It’s not that we don’t think we can write. We can. It’s not that we haven’t done this at least once already. We have.  It’s more…insidious than that. It’s what I call the doubt demons, and for me, they usually pop up about two thirds of the way through a book. I’m great at beginnings. I can write the hell out of first chapters. I probably have at least a hundred I’ve-never-written-more-than-one-chapter story ideas on my laptop.  I’m even fairly decent with middles. But right before I’m starting to wind things up, that last chunk of book? GAH. I would gladly have a co-writer just to take care of that part, and I’m a control freak.

It’s especially bad if you’ve been in a writing slump or hiatus. In my case, I had to take almost a year off serious writing to deal with some family issues.  I got rusty, and then I got scared. What if everything I write from now on is crap? What if I can’t write, if I’ve lost momentum?

What if can paralyze you.

bbe2015So I did a few things to get my brain warmed back up for writing. I read my old stories to remind myself that I really can do this. And I wrote some short stories for fun and few for publication. One is a very short story called Summer Surrender that went into an anthology as a fundraiser for Sommer Marsden’s family.  The other is a short story called Tied and Twisted, and it will be in the Best Bondage Erotica 2015 anthology, which is coming soon.

Right now, I’m working on a new series and I’m happy to say my beta readers have (mostly!) liked what they read. (Note:  That’s why beta readers rock – they keep you from making a fool of yourself!)

Sadly, I’ve been told doubt demons don’t ever go away, but like anything, good friends (and good crit partners and good beta readers) can go a long way in helping with that.

What about you? What’s in your life that gives you nerves, no matter how long you do it?


Let’s Talk…Nerves and Doubt Demons with Jodie Griffin — 4 Comments

  1. I hear ya, Jodie. I know I can write. But can I write at the same level of my favorite authors? Will my writing interest an agent or a big publishing house? Yup, those demons are always around. Best of luck slaying yours.

    • Right, Jana? I think it’s especially hard because we’re so focused on the individual words in our stories, but with others’, we’re reading the STORY not the words. And the more I edit mine, the less complete it looks to me! And thank you…good luck to you, too!

  2. So timely Jodie. I just wrote my own blog post about having to prove ourselves no matter our age. Fundamentally I think it all comes down to that age old question, am I good enough. But ultimately, if we don’t share our work we take something important away from the world. It doesn’t matter what type of writer you are…. good, bad, poetic, commercial, erotic, sweet, anything…. I am a firm believer that every voice has something important and beautiful to say. So go for it writers… shout it out. Give it to the world. And know that a world full of people will find in it that thing that they most need to hear… the courage of living out loud.

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