August 8, 2016

Writer Inadequacy


I'm not a good writer. Everyone is better than me. I'm sure I'm doing this all wrong. I don't have the experience. Do any of these statements, or similar ones, sound familiar? Have you thought them or written them in your journal?

I'll be the first to admit that I have. Fears, doubts, and worries that I'm not good enough always seem to be lurking around the next corner. And I have a feeling a lot of other writers have the same problems. I think it comes with the job.

This post is all about the inadequacy that plagues us as writers. We'll break it down and then talk about ways we can beat it back. Ready?

Feeling Inadequate? Me too

When we choose to be a writer, we are choosing to show our hard work and deepest feelings to the world. It can be hard to open up and let them see that, especially when you're an introvert like many writers, myself included. You start to compare yourself to other writers. Self confidence plummets. That's bad.


Inadequate is defined as not good enough. If you're feeling inadequate it means you think you aren't good enough, you don't measure up. I know this from experience.

A few years ago, my family went to a homeschool conference. One of the sessions we went to was by a guy who made a writing course. The session was great, but some of the things that he said were beyond my skill level at the time. I wondered if my story needed those things, and since they didn't have them, was it even any good? Because I doubted myself, I didn't write for months. My poor story was left to collect dust.

My mom was the one who convinced me to keep writing. For that I am forever grateful. But if I had let my feelings of inadequacy chain me, I might not be writing even today. I love writing and if I had given it up, it would have taken away one of the best things in my life.

So, What Should We Do?

All those fears and doubts about whether we're good enough, or doing things right, or whatever can cripple us and our writing. We need to take control and fight back. But how?


First, crush that little voice as soon as it starts. If you listen to it, it will become an all-consuming roar before you know it. When you think "she's a better writer than me" or "I'll never have good story structure" instantly tell yourself to shut up. Then think something positive. "She's had more experience than me and someday I'll be that good" or "I'm working hard to learn story structure". 

What if you've been feeling inadequate for a while, whether for a day or a month? Realizing that you need to stop thinking that way is a good start. But you need to go further than that to fully rid yourself of those awful feelings.



A good place to start is to remind yourself of all the reasons you love writing. The reasons you are good enough. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings and listen to them. Other people can see the good in you much better than you can. And remember that everyone feels the same things. You're not alone.

Next, work on lifting your spirits. Eat your favorite food. (Chocolate does wonders for the soul.) Read your favorite books or watch your favorite movies. Go to the places you like the most. Turn on your power songs and sing them loudly in your bedroom. (Try Shake It Off and Try Everything if you need somewhere to start.) Shut up that voice with all the things you love.

P.S. This is my new favorite quote

And don't give up. Once you've let your fears control you for a while, it can be hard to shake. I fight everyday to not compare myself to others and not to let those feelings get the best of me. Keep writing even if it's just your diary. Do things that you enjoy and make you feel good. Pray for help. Always remember you are good enough.

Wow, that went deeper than I thought it would. Sorry if I overwhelmed you a bit. But thanks for making it all the way to the end.

What do you think about inadequacy? Do you have any advice? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear.

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