5 Tips to Curb Self-Doubt

Hiya Freshman Writers! I’m back on the scene after a long time away and ready to help you Freshman Writers with your writing goals. I got the idea for this post on self-doubt after writing about my own writing challenges this summer. You can read that here and let me know what you think. Can you relate?

Since I know many writers (anyone really) struggle with self-doubt, I’ve come up with some tips to help you Freshman Writers look self-doubt in the face and kick its butt! Here you go:

1. Acknowledge that you have doubts. Everyone has them from time to time. Rather than admit that I was doubting my writing talent, I avoided it instead. Til it came to bite me in the rear end. Admit that you have them because then you can deal with them.

2. Let a friend know about your doubts. It’s always good to have a cheerleader, someone on your side who wants your dream to come true as much as you do. Freshman Writers, you cannot go it alone. A cheerleader has faith in you, can pick you up and help you see what they see – a talented writer.

3. Connect with your mentors. If you don’t have a writing mentor, get one. It can be someone you chat with online or someone you can meet with regularly to talk about writing, goals and life in general.Ā  Also subscribe to free newsletters from your favorite writers. It may not be the same as having a personal relationship with your mentor, but that nudge in your inbox can motivate you to get writing.

4. Get back to basics. In a previous post, I wrote about how to return to the beginning of your writing journey. By remembering how you did things during a successful time, you can see what works to get rid of your doubts.

5. Be good to yourself. My biggest challenge in the last few months was taking care of myself. I didn’t sleep well, didn’t have much of an appetite and couldn’t really take a break. Check out this post where I share tips on avoiding burn-out. Remember that your writing is affected by anything and everything affecting you. Taking care of yourself allows you to take care of your writing.

6. Finally, recognize that you’ll screw up. You are going to have doubts. Period. There’s no way to get around that reality, but there are ways to curb it. Just do what works best to get you believing in yourself and writing again.

I hope these tips are as helpful to you as they have been to me so far. I’ve been slowly working to get each one up and running as well as my writing. Treat yourself well and remember that you have the talent within. You just need to work to get it out.

Happy Writing!

Back from Hiatus – Sort of

Hello Freshman Writers! I’m back from a much needed break. Since my last post, I’ve been resting, destressing and spending quality time with kiddo. In addition, I’ve been looking for a new job, which is my biggest challenge. A crazy schedule keeps me from spending quality time with kiddo during the week. So, I’m looking for something better.

I’ve been journaling often and focusing on finding my joy again. If you want to read about it, check out my recent post here. Can you relate?

I will be writing on the site though right now I’m not sure of the schedule. I want to ease back into it while maintaining my joy and peace. So, keep checking back here Freshman Writers for more editorials, quotes and other thoughts for beginning writers. Take care!

Catching up

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. First, I’d like to apologize for not posting the Fav Friday item last week. Overwhelmed with the day job and home issues, I’m back on track today. So I’d like to give you a two for one deal this morning.

What would have been my Fav Friday item is my subscription to The Writer Magazine. I love this magazine for its straightforward advice about the work of writing. Not only does it provide info on various genres and forms of writing, but it is also offers exercises to boost creativity and get you writing. I’ve had my subscription for a year, but purchased individual magazines here and there up until I found I was getting it more often.

Now, the editorial. Ever find yourself so overwhelmed that you have to take a break in order to catch up? That was me in the last week. I found myself having to deal with one task at a time until completion. This was hard for me because I’m used to multi-tasking regularly.

But, I just could not seem to catch up with myself. I felt like I was rushing through everything and still not getting anything done. So, I took a break from writing and even reading about writing. I’ve been focusing so much on learning the craft and using writer-speak all the time, that I forgot everything else.

In order for writing to have life and be found credible by the reader, you need to feed it. How do you feed your writing? Live your life. As simple as that sounds, it isn’t. You’d think that I’d be able to do that since I have so much on my plate. Only trouble was my plate was too heavy and I couldn’t focus on anything except the weight and pressure coming from it.

The good thing is that I recognize that. Another good thing, the plate has gotten a bit lighter. I’ve made decisions, completed tasks and have decided to take time to relax away from the day job. By taking small steps, Freshman Writers, I’ve found that I’ve got a much more positive outlook. I feel like I can accomplish goals.

So Freshman Writers, what do you do to catch up when you’ve fallen behind? What advice/tips would you like to share with other writers? What works for you?

Happy Writing!

Taking on too much

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about taking on too much. Even if you are at the beginning of your writing journey, you can take on too much and be easily overwhelmed.

I spent Easter Sunday in City Island with my father, his girlfriend and my son. I was so excited about going because it had been years since I had been there. I spent many weekend afternoons there with my parents as a child and the magic of it hasn’t changed. And this time I was able to share it with my son.

Well, my eyes feasted themselves on a dozen fried shrimp, half a dozen raw clams and fries. Chasing all of that with a pina colada, I knew that I should’ve stopped halfway. I was shocked that I could walk back to the car as stuffed as I was. After running around at a local park, I was still stuffed, but not so much that I couldn’t add a strawberry ice cream sundae. See where I’m going with this Freshman Writers?

Instead of slowing down and really gauging how much I could take on (in this case – food), I kept going and going. Last night, I felt the effects of my chowdown and was sick to my stomach. It was a late lunch so I skipped dinner. Obviously, I skipped dinner.

The lesson here Freshman Writers is to see what is ahead of you, look at what you have on your plate right now and analyze what you can and cannot do. This same concept works for many situations, but especially for writers.

I recently had to let go of a possible writing job because I saw that I could not do the work. After all, with a full time job, part time job, my son and other responsibilities I have, there was no way that I could do the tasks outlined. So I let it go. It was hard because it was a decent paying job with opportunities for growth, but it wasn’t for me.

Freshman Writers, learn to see what you are capable of doing and how much time you have to devote to it. Writing can be a career; you just have to plan it out. And when you can’t, your best bet is to slow down, regroup and start over.

Happy Writing!

Safety & Security

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s editorial is about safety and security.

My Twitter account was hijacked yesterday afternoon. I found out when my online pals informed me that they received several naughty direct messages. I was shocked by it, but made the necessary changes to my account.

Since then, I’ve been wary of even sending out tweets. All of my pals were understanding of this, but I apologized anyway. What did I learn from the experience? That I need to make sure to change my password on a regular basis. I’ve been on Twitter for a year and a half. Even still, I had the same password.

While I’m discussing passwords here, Freshman Writers, be sure to update your spyware and security options to keep nasty hackers (like the one who hijacked my account) out of your hair.

Make sure to keep your passwords in a secure place and don’t share them with anyone. Common sense I know, but things happen. Also, be sure to have a spyware program that will check all any items downloaded on your computer. This way, you’ll keep your computer (and your writing) safe from viruses as well.

One last tip, don’t download anything from unknown emails or sites. If you don’t recognize the email address or your computer detects something strange on a website, avoid downloading. You’ll be thankful that you did.

Happy Writing!

Getting back to basics

Hiya Freshman Writers! I hope this finds you well and writing.

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. I do apologize for it. I’ve been in a severe writing funk that has lasted nearly two months. I’ve been thinking about how writers deal with writing funks/blocks/etc. And here’s what I came up with. What CAN you do to get out of a funk? Get back to basics.

Get back to the simplicities of being a writer. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. Or is it? You write therefore you are a writer. Sometimes we writers forget that. We forget to remind ourselves what we’re in this for. We forget our writing spirit.

Writers always need to take a break from writing and nurture their writing spirit. Its that energy inside of you that drives you; compels you to write. Whether it’s taking a class, reading a writing book or going on a writer’s retreat, there is always the need to get back to the reasons why you started writing in the first place. So here are some questions to get you thinking:

1. When did you start writing?

2. Why did you start writing?

3. What part of the writing process gets you most excited?

4. How do you keep up your writing spirit?

5. What do you think is most challenging about writing? The writing life? Being a writer?

I hope these questions will help you. These are the ones I’ve been asking myself during my hiatus. While I’ve answered some, others remain unanswered. I’m still evaluating; still meditating on it. Let me know what has been working for you. šŸ™‚

Take care and happy writing!

What are you reading?

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and reading today. Yes, reading not writing. So much of the writer’s life is about the act of writing; learning about writing; getting better at writing. Reading is needed, too.

Not just for enterntainment, but to learn more about the writing process. Reading is fun and can help you Freshman Writers get back on track to writing.

When writers get into a slump or get stuck, reading can get you out of it. For the last couple of weeks or so, I’ve been pretty stuck. I haven’t been able to write articles and as you’ve noticed, I haven’t been posting here much either.

So, when I went to the bookstore to pick up a gift for a friend, I decided to get myself some reading material. I recently saw the commercial for the movie “The Time-Traveler’s Wife” and got the book. So far, a great read. I know that it is not my usual arena of writing (fiction), but I felt the need to escape a bit. Which is probably what the author hoped for, to help readers escape and fall into her story.

I hope to write books like this one day. Books that grab you by the throat and don’t let go until the story is over. Someday. šŸ™‚

So Freshman Writers – what are you reading today?

When Life Gets in the Way

Hiya Freshman Writers! I know it’s been a while since I last posted. So, I’m using this as an inspiration for this post.

What do you do when life gets in the way? Work, school, family. All of these can keep us from writing. Not to mention that we all get wiped out sometimes and need recovery time. So, how do you get back on track?

First, you can try making sure that you get enough rest. Get eight hours of sleep a night and make sure to relax for a bit everyday. 10 -15 minutes of time should be enough to get you refreshed.

Eliminate time wasters. Watching too much television can definitely get in the way of your writing. Also, unplugging the phone so you could write is another way of reducing distractions. Yes, talking with friends is great, but if it keeps you from writing, it is a distraction.

Schedule writing time. If you just can’t seem to do anything that’s not in your planner, put it there. We plan our lives, why not our writing?

I hope these tips can get you back on track and writing again. It worked for me as you can see. šŸ™‚

Happy Writing!

Time Away

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing today. Or maybe not.

I recently took a three-day training and was away from computers all day to learn about how to give a training. Though I didn’t earn my trainer’s certificate (I’ll try again in September), I did earn a nice long break from the day job and writing.

Sometimes, we all need time away to really miss what we love to do. I did miss my job and writing though I did post a few times last week. We can get so burnt out even doing the things we love, which is why we all need mini-vacations as frequently as possible.

When you get to the point where your eyes cross from staring at the computer or your fingers hurt from typing so much or you just can’t squeeze out another word from your brain, it’s time for a break.

So, take one today! Even if it’s a ten-minute break to take a quick walk, you deserve it.

Happy writing! And vacationing!