Writers with self-esteem issues? I don’t think they exist. RARGH! ::pounce:: OW!

OOPH!

Yeah.  I’m one.  Chances are, if you’re a writer, so are you.  You, too, have that Beast within.  It says things like “Yeah yeah yeah, you can write a sentence.  No shit, asshole; you teach English.  But can you tell a story?  No!  You’re shit!  Just fucking turn off the computer, and go play on the X-Box or watch a fucking movie or something, because YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO PUBLISH A GODDAMNED THING, NEVER MIND THAT STUPID BOOK!  

The trick is to let that inner voice rage.  Let it tell you how your rejections will always be numerous whlie you never, ever get an acceptance.  Let it assure you that your ideas are trite, your prose hackneyed, your future tech ridiculously stupid, your characters flat, and your title dumb.  Let it remind you that you’ve been doing this for years and never gotten where you want to be.  Let it tell you that you suck.  

Then kick it in the fucking teeth.  Lock it back in the mental basement where it belongs, along with your childhood fear of Nazis (thank you, childhood watching Wonder Woman) and your belief that you were an alien secreted on Earth by your real parents to protect you (thank you, Powers of Matthew Star).  

Some days, it’s easy.  The voice is stupid.  It’s just fear talking.  Other days, it’s harder.  The voice is the Voice of Reality, come to rid you of your delusions of literary adequacy.  

Ignore it.  it’s a stupid voice.  It doesn’t know anything.  

Sit down. Keep writing.  

Breathe.

Write.

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About Michael Johnston

Father of a third grader, high school English teacher, writer. Forty-three years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA
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