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Tip Tuesday #72

Happy Tuesday! I have another great tip from Lisa Nowak today. This might be a personal favorite. Please visit her blog, The Tao of Webfoot, on your way out.

Overcoming the "My Book is Crap" Syndrome

If you've written more than one book, you might have become aware of a pattern. Even if you don't see it yourself, your friends and family will surely notice. They'll hear you ranting how you latest book is pure crap, it's more difficult than any of the others you've written, and you'll never be able to sell it. They've probably given up on trying to reassure you, and that's just as well because you'll never believe them anyway. But here's the cold, hard truth. Those are just your writer's insecurities coming out, and you shouldn't take them seriously. But how can you possibly do that if you can't trust your own instincts?

Easy. Write yourself a letter. When those feelings begin to nag at you, sit down and start a document listing everything you remember about writing your last book. Jot down any worries you had and how things turned out in the end. Include details about how you're currently feeling. Now title the document "Read This Before Starting Your Next Book" and file it away. When you finish the project, be sure to go back and add an update about how your fears played out. Note when things got better and what seemed to help improve your attitude. It's common for writers to have doubts while muddling though a first draft, even if they use an outline. But those doubts usually don't amount to much in the grand scheme of things (unless you're one of those types who never finish a project. If so, never mind).

When you begin a new project and feel the stress welling up, open that document and take a look. Other people's words of reassurance are easy to blow off, but looking at your own experiences is a whole different thing.

- Lisa Nowak


  1. What a great idea...I was just thinking this morning that writers are their own harshest critics. Writers definitely need a way to channel a more positive attitude!

    by the way, Casey, you won a blog award on my blog if you want to pick it up :)

  2. Love this - cause yeah, writerly insecurities are no fun. :D

  3. Great tip. I suffer from insecurity a lot. Thanks.

  4. I'll have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  5. That's a really good idea, thanks for sharing!

  6. Great blog, Lisa. I always do my little dramatic spiel, "Worst book ever, blah, blah." And then my husband laughs and reminds me I said the same thing last time. I guess I should write the letter instead of making him listen to it every time. Thanks for a great suggestion.

  7. I go through this all the time. I constantly on a roller coaster of "It's great!" and "It's crap!"

    I love Lisa's suggestion - I'm going to try it!

  8. I totally thought this was just my "thing." It's like, expect the worst and hope for the best kind of attitude. Like, maybe if I don't expect them to think it's good then i won't be hurt when they do think my work is crap.

    But you know what? Everytime I go back to my writing, I laugh out loud and well up and that means it's good. It's DAMN GOOD. And I have to beleive it will get published.

    Great post!

  9. Sorry for the typos, super tired mama working on my WIP. Please forgive!!!!!!

  10. This sounds really great :) I think it'd probably be an awesome idea to write yourself a letter before you write about why your book's going to be awesome and revisit it from time to time!

  11. okay... thankyou ... needed to read this post today right at this minute!

  12. Thanks for posting my tip, Casey. I'm glad it seemed to strike a cord with so many people. :)

  13. Good post. I'll keep this in mind for the next time I get the "my work sucks" blues.