Occasionally on Twitter, I use the hashtag #peskygremlins. I do this for fun of course, however in everything there is a grain of truth. See, Gremlins? They steal your matching socks, hide your keys, and the worst ones of all will whisper to your subconscious while you write. These most dangerous of creatures have another name - doubt.
We all feel it. Even JK Rowling has admitted to it (though perhaps not lately). On every step of the journey there's that nagging voice that makes us question our worth. These Gremlins sense your weakest moments, and pray upon your insecurities. So what can you do?
1. Turn that voice around!
Have you ever read a simply phenomenal book, and thought, I can't do that? That's a huge compliment to the writer. But instead, try forcing yourself to think, Wow, I can learn a lot from this writer, it gives me something to aspire toward. Because if I work hard enough I can do it! The Gremlin will no doubt run screaming.
2. Go with the flow!
You're sitting at your computer, in the middle of your rough draft, and all of a sudden your "internal editor" (yet another name for this type of Gremlin) says, "Darling, this is trash!" Well, just stick out your tongue and keep writing, because if you say, "Shut up, this is called a rough draft for a reason, and that's what revision is for," then the Gremlin will get so angry his ugly little head will explode. But don't worry it doesn't leave a mess, it just disintegrates. Then you can sigh with relief and let the words flow freely.
3. Focus on the positive!
You just got another rejection. Yep, it happens. To ALL of us. And this always make the Gremlins happy because they love to whisper those two little words, give up. Just laugh right in that Gremlin's face, and send out another submission, or revise (depending on the situation), and the Gremlin will become so confused that they end up spontaneously combusting. Because all you have to do is remember that this is just another notch in your belt for all those "How I got published" stories you'll no doubt tell later. Remember that this is a necessary stepping stone on the way to success. And remember that it always could be that very next one that does it.
So as long as you keep working on your craft, keep searching for support from other writers, and keep a broom on hand to chase away those pesky Gremlins... everything will be okay!!