You can’t do it alone.

It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing this, how skilled you are as a writer, or how far you’ve gotten down the road to publication. If you’re a writer, you have doubts.

You doubt that you’re good enough. You doubt that people will like your characters, that anyone will ever buy your book, that your prose doesn’t suck. You’re not writing enough, everything you write is crap, you don’t know where this story is going, you hate your hero, everyone else is doing better than you are, you’ve lost your touch, you should just quit, you suck, suck, suck, suck SUCK.

You’re wrong.

And here’s the other place where you’re wrong: You can’t combat the doubt alone.

As writers, we are solitary by nature. We spend hours of our day locked in our own heads with our characters and our drive and our doubts. Many of us prefer it that way. I know I do. But sometimes, we need to get out. We need people to remind us that the doubt cycle is just our own brains trying to defeat us, and that we’re doing our best.

IMG_20130807_150224Truth time: when I write, more often than not, I have my Captain America teddy bear sitting right beside me. (He looks away when I start writing gratuitous smut, but he’s pretty much always there.) When I start to doubt myself, he gives me a hug, and reminds me that I’m doing great, and I just have to keep on keeping on.

And the rest of the time, I have my friends.

Once a month, I go to my local RWA chapter meeting, and I connect with real, live actual writers and get inspired all over again.

When I’m losing my mind, I text my long-time critique partner, and she reminds me that I’m being ridiculous and I need to just keep going.

When I’m feeling alone, I get on Twitter and look at all the other writers out there dealing with the same things I am.

When I go to conferences and am terrified and intimidated, my Bad Girlz are there holding my hand (sometimes literally). They’re standing next to my table at my first book signing telling people walking by that my book is amazing and they need a copy. They’re dancing with me at the RITAs after party and helping me let go of my middle school fears of being the ugly girl in the corner who can’t dance. They’re sharing their struggles and their doubts, and they’re here for me no matter what.

Because no matter how much of a loner I am, I can’t do this alone.

And neither can you.

So if you feel like you’re all by yourself in this, or if the doubts are starting to overwhelm you, STOP IT. Go get a damn teddy bear and hug it tight whenever you’re being mean to yourself. Join RWA or whatever writer’s association is best suited to your genre. Go to local chapter meetings. If you can’t get to chapter meetings, take advantage of their online forums, and go find some other gathering places on the internet where writers talk and gripe and cheer each other on.

Because you’re good enough. You’re doing amazing.

Sometimes, you just need someone to remind you of that.

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