Quotes · The After Girls · Writing

Friday Writing Inspiration: Sylvia Plath and Overcoming Self-Doubt

Sylvia Plath writing quoteLike all writers (and all humans), I have a tendency to get down on myself sometimes. And with a published book, sometimes it can be pretty easy. Is it selling as much as X, X or X? Why did so-and-so get a positive review from such-and-such and I didn’t? Why is review #23 on Goodreads so mean? What did I ever do to them? Do they know that I still read every single review? Do they know how much their words can sting? Why is a 24-year-old a bestseller? By that logic, at 28, I should be a bestseller a few times over!

During times like this, it’s easy to forget about the good things. That Booklist loved The After Girls, that, for awhile, at least, the book was rocking the Top 50 on Amazon, that a reviewer, who, for all intents and purposes, appears not to be delusional or crazy, compared my writing to that of John Green

And beyond all that commercial stuff, the fact that I receive emails like this:

Hi! I just finished reading your book After Girls and wanted to tell you it was really good! I felt like I was in the book and experiencing what Sydney and Ella were. It felt like Astrid was my friend. 

Or that this adorable teen thought it fit to record a hilarious review for her YouTube channel.

There’s also this: The After Girls is not the only story I have in me. That I have a new idea that I love and my agent loves, and I feel like readers will love, too.

There are so many things to be thankful for as a writer, and more than anything else, the fact that you get the joy of writing and sharing your work with the world, whether that world is your partner, a friend, your doting mom or a million loyal readers.

For those of you struggling (like me) with the inevitable writer self-doubt, for those looking for an agent, an editor, a second publishing lottery ticket, or simply for the strength and dedication to complete your story, I encourage you to meditate on the fact that we all feel this way sometimes. And to remember that, if you’ve suffered any of the setbacks that come with writing and publishing and you still want to write, you must have something to say, because there are a lot of easier ways to make money (and a ton of easier ways to have fun).

Happy Friday.

Leah

One thought on “Friday Writing Inspiration: Sylvia Plath and Overcoming Self-Doubt

  1. Wow, I had no idea you quoted me on your site! That’s so cool, thanks. I got a pingback of your article, and again, am flattered to be included.

    I would also like to confirm that I am neither delusional or crazy (though some of the authors of books that I have not liked would probably beg to differ). The thing is, and in your heart of hearts, you know this already, the thing is that the internet gives with one hand and taketh away with the other. People are more likely to trash than praise, and since many can do this anonymously, these people are ugly with abandon.

    So, write. Write for all of those people who liked or loved your book. Do it for yourself, your publisher, your family and your friends. Do it for those people who have yet to discover you.

    And for the trolls? Print out their reviews and put them on the bottom of the birdcage. Shred them and take them to your local pet shelter for the puppies. Paper your office with them and black out the portions or words that are negative, turning it in to a positive review. Feel sorry for them for about five minutes, knowing that they don’t have an editor or promotions department and will never have a book deal. Then smile and laugh your best evil laugh, and forget about it. You’ve got another book to write.

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