Am i overconfident about my writing abilities?


I’m an aspiring writer. I have a few ideas in my head, but one in particular I’m very passionate about. I won’t reveal too much about it, but I will say that I have taken inspiration from many of my own favorite franchises, and I dream that some day mine will find similar success. But the sad reality is that there’s no garuntee of this, but I want to try as hard as I can.

I have shared it with a few beta readers, and while they have offered constructive criticism, all of them have liked it so far, one in friend in particular I made from it has told me how great they think it is. I’m kinda superstitious, and I’ve had weird experiences like dreams that seemed almost to predict events significant to my book’s creation. It gives me a feeling, almost like it’s some sort of divine gift for the world, like it’s my destiny to write it. But of course, I could be wrong, and all of this could just be coincidence. But it helps me find purpose in life, because I felt very without one before my inspiration came.

But even so, I sometimes find myself feeling guilty about doing activities (like watching tv or playing on my phone) instead of writing, but I tell myself that maybe the show I’m watching or the game I’m playing will give me some inspiration. I try to think of writing like a fun activity, and not like work. But sometimes it feels too easy, and I think “if it’s so easy to come up with a story why doesn’t everyone do it?” And I do often look up online how to create a great story, and similarly I wonder “If this person knows so much, why haven’t they created something like that?”

But I promise, I do try to work hard. I think of character traits, of significant events in the story, for life lessons that may be learned. The tricky part though is trying to fit them all together. I’m trying to do something similar to what George Lucas did with Star Wars, and pay homage to some of my favorite things, and maybe appeal to people subconsciously (although it’s a bit harder to do that with a book as it’s all in the mind). I try to be familiar, but do enough unique things so it doesn’t seem unoriginal.

It’s just that I have this all or nothing mentality. If I put in all this effort and my book is a flop, then I would feel I had nothing to live for. In this day and age though, it’s practically impossible to NOT at least get published, albeit online and for free, but I’m hoping it will do well. I have very big dreams and want to do a lot with my life, but I have to think of what to do if things don’t go quite the way I imagine.

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  • Many writers never ask themselves these questions:

    "Where do the words come from?"
    "Why one story and not another?"
    "Why does what sounds good, sound good?"

    The answers more or less tie in to our subconscious mind, which is infinitely more powerful and vast than our conscious one. Christianity did a terrific job describing it as the "Holy Spirit", a force that works through you. The source of your creativity isn't you.

    When you realize that, you realize that you're really just an open doorway, and as you become a better writer you really just become a better and more open pathway to this source. There's definitely pride to be had but the best writers know they're a middleman between words on paper and something much greater than themselves.

    So I hope that addresses your confidence issue. As for how best to develop as a writer, you do so by developing as a storyteller first. Learn, study and master the application of premise lines. Stories have a real structure, even if it's not visible to most readers. The word for "appealing to people subconsciously" that you're looking for is called 'resonance'.

    "Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing" by David Farland is well worth a read.

    George Lucas is a master storyteller. But most everyone only sees the result, not him at work. Here's a transcript of him, Spielberg and Kasdan sitting down and thinking up one of the greatest films ever made:

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    • Thanks for the links! I’m definitely saving them!

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      • Why the dislike?

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  • It is important to believe in yourself, but lemme tell you, you have a defeatist attitude.

    Writing is indeed a job, and you need to do it whether you feel like it or not & sometimes you won't, but you should need it like you need to breathe.

    You will recieve massive criticism, no matter how "great" your work is...i've read some fantastic anti-shakespeare raaaaants. This is part of the job discription when you create art for others to consume, and it WILL happen. Your willingness to throw in the towell if your art is not recieved well is not a great quality for an aspiring writer. You have too keep at it, keep writing. It shouldn't be all or should be...ok, what can i do better?

    There are a million wanna be writers; some of them are fucking talented. If this is your dream, you need to work harder at it & you need to not give up when you have setbacks because, unless you are incredibly lucky, you will.

    You can do this if you want to.

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      • Thanks! I really encourage you to pursue your dream. I'm a huge, huge fan of reading & i hope you can make it to the bookshelves!

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  • No, you are not.

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