I spent the weekend at WANACon – well, I spent the weekend in my jammies, with no makeup, and listened to and chatted in real time with some best selling authors at WANACon. This is the beauty of a digital writer’s conference. I had been sick all week. If this had been a traditional in-person conference I’d have had to skip. But, I could attend all the sessions, even teach one, without infecting everyone with my yucky cold germs. Win win.
Best-selling author David Corbett gave two key-note talks. He’s a great speaker if you ever have the chance to hear him talk. He said something that surprised me a little: “I personally often revise as I go, and wish I didn’t. It’s a bad habit I wish I could break, and I do it because it gives me confidence that the writing is strong enough to merit continuing…Sadly, this reveals more about my self-doubt than it does about the worth of what I’ve written.”
This guy has written four award winning and nominated best-selling novels and he struggles with insecurity and self-doubt? There’s no hope for me! lol I’m poking a little fun at myself, but he brings up a valid point that probably every writer on the planet – ever, has faced. Is what I’m writing any good? Will anyone want to read this? And so on. Those doubts are perfectly rational and normal, but when we get bogged down in that rut we never get anything finished.
“The world doesn’t reward perfectionists; it rewards finishers.” ~Kristen Lamb
If you never finish that novel, that essay, that blog post, no one’s ever going to read it. It won’t help anyone, won’t change anything, won’t entertain anyone. How sad. 🙁 While it’s important to always put out your best work possible, sometimes you just have to get to a point where you say this is the best I can do right now and hit publish. Some of those are going to do well, and some are going to fail. That’s how we learn, friends. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and keep writing!