Trusting Yourself as a Writer

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Trusting Yourself as a Writer
* Video Stuff
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“There’s some sort of circle involving self-trust where the more you trust your ability to create, the easier it becomes.” Garry Rodgers, unknowingly helping me write this blog post

Trusting Yourself as a Writer

On Garry Rodgers’ Kill Zone blog post yesterday, I left this comment:

“The lack of courage is the huge one. And to make it worse, the fear that immobilizes or radically slows so many has either no consequences or only imagined consequences.

“Given a grounding in grammar and punctuation (and any who don’t have that grounding can obtain it), the only way to break free of that fear is to suck it up and learn to trust yourself and what you know, and your ability to put that knowledge to use.

“Your creative subconscious tells unique, original stories in your authentic voice. The more you trust yourself and defend your work, the more freely story ideas will come to you.”

Garry responded with this:

“Thanks, Harvey. …. Yeah, trust in yourself. There’s some sort of circle involving self-trust where the more you trust your ability to create, the easier it becomes. I have a friend who recently got bit by the imposter syndrome bug right when they were polishing the final draft and they went dead in the water.”

And I responded this morning:

“‘There’s some sort of circle involving self-trust where the more you trust your ability to create, the easier it becomes.’

“Truth. But very few will ever try it. We’re all bombarded throughout our lives with how very difficult it is to do something as simple as telling a story. Ridiculous of course, but the myths are so pervasive that most obey them as if to do otherwise is illegal.

“There are no bad consequences for not obeying the myths of writing. I’ve had young writers tell me point blank that if they don’t rewrite at least X-variable number of times, it will kill their career. What career?

“Plus, writing in your original, authentic voice is how you make a career. As Judy Garland once advised, ‘Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.’

“Opinions of what is or isn’t ‘good’ vary greatly and are always a matter of reader taste. For every person out there (even the writer him/herself) who doesn’t like a story or think it’s up to snuff, there will be ten more who like it.

“I often tell about the story ‘Old Suits.’ I wrote it some years ago and almost didn’t publish it. I thought it was horrible, one of the worst stories I’d ever written or read.

“But in the end I trusted myself and forced myself to publish it. A few weeks later, out of the blue I received an email from a reader I’d never met (and still haven’t) raving about what a great story it was, what a difference it made in her life, etc.

“I never trusted my own opinion again.

“I’ve always found it odd that when writers think what they’ve written is “good,” they immediately add ‘But as a writer I”m the worst judge of my own work.’

“Yet untold numbers of writers will put a finished story or novel into a desk drawer, never to see the light of day because they think it’s ‘bad.’ (Some who have done so will read this and think No, I know it was bad.

“But they miss the point, which is, the old saw about being the worst judge of their own writing cuts both ways. Too bad it escapes them when they need it the most.”

And do with it what you will, that’s the truth.

Video Stuff

I bought a new webcam, installed it, was thrilled with the clarity, and immediately raced off to YouTube to put up a new video.

Only YouTube didn’t recognize it for whatever reason. It used the internal webcam from my computer, so the video quality was just as bad. Even after I disabled the internal webcam, YouTube still didn’t recognize the new one.

The embarrassing but fortunately very short video is still there (I couldn’t find a way to delete it) but it isn’t worth watching. It’s only me registering surprise at having stumbled into what amounted to a self-ambush.

I will return the camera today and have already ordered another one—one that the Amazon listing assures me is accepted by YouTube—and learned two valuable lessons.

The first is the old lesson that everything that glitters is not gold, and the second is to always set the streaming session to Private to test a new piece of equipment. How I’ve lived this long without having learned the second lesson earlier, I have no idea.

Talk with you later.

Of Interest

See “No Such Thing as Writer’s Block” at https://vincentzandri.substack[dot]com/p/no-such-thing-as-writers-block. What he said. (grin)

See “Special Workshop Sale” at To cut to the chase scroll down to The Workshop Sale. I posted this to help you, not to support him.

See “Who Should Be Telling This Story?” at Take what appeals to you and leave the rest.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 860

Writing of Rose Padilla (WCG10SF5)

Day 1…… 4283 words. Total words to date…… 4283
Day 2…… 3963 words. Total words to date…… 8246
Day 3…… 1463 words. Total words to date…… 9709
Day 4…… 2445 words. Total words to date……12154

Total fiction words for June……… 12154
Total fiction words for 2023………… 110022
Total nonfiction words for June… 22130
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 131550
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 241572

Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

2 thoughts on “Trusting Yourself as a Writer”

  1. Hello,
    oh, this post was written exactly to me. I should step away from the way of my writing, and let them be what they want to be. How could I tell wether they good or bad? And does able to do that means anything? Or does able to tell wether your story is good or bad important?

    I think about what it is when I read a book. I want it to be so good I could get lost in it. I try the same with my writing. I always try to get lost in it.

    And I realized a critical mind problem today. Lately, I tried to write ‘good’ stories, which goodness was not explained. I don’t know how to write good stories, because I don’t know what makes a story good, popular, critically acclaimed. And while I am at chosing the ‘perfect’ word to describe what my characters did, or fearing of the typos or fearing of possible reader’s reactions, I lose what is important: to show authentically what my characters did, said, and to enjoy my writing time. I can’t get lost in anything I engineering.

    Thanks the post.

    • Yes sir, that’s exactly right. It’s best to be lost in the story as you’re writing it, and the only way to do that is to convey what is happening to the characters in their story.

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