Dreaming in Character

G.L. Jackson

Striving for Positivity


I’ll never get published, I hate my writing!

Oh, yeah, I love what I wrote.

I’m a fraud, people will find me out!

Damn, I’m incredibly competent.

I’m going to drop out of all social media!

Wow, look at this great conversation.

Nobody likes me.

I love you all!


This is what the inside of my brain looks like today. Which brings me to an important point about exclamation marks (seriously). Look at the list above. All the negative sentiments are emphasized with them, and none of the positive ones…until the last. Because that’s where I’ve ultimately ended up today.

Look, writing is a tough business. There’s precious little praise and entire dung heaps of rejection. It’s hurry up and wait. It’s biting our nails. It’s looking for validation anywhere we can find it. It’s the inevitable feelings of worthlessness, followed by the inevitable (but generally short-lived) feelings of competence. Like a good game of table tennis, we go back and forth, back and forth.

Last night I had to fill out a form detailing my occupation for the past ten years, and I left off writer. Why? Because in my brain–in that space I was in at the time–I decided I had no viable proof that I could call myself a writer. My published stories have gone out of print. I don’t write regularly on this blog any more. I’m not agented. I’m not even sure which of my works I’m going to pitch in the face-to-face sessions I have lined up. That old enemy of mine, self-doubt, made a roaring comeback.

It’s so easy to harp on all the bad things and forget the good ones.

But really, I am a writer and self-doubt will slink away like it always does, tail between its legs. Back into the darkness. Still, at times like this I am so appreciative of my friends and my writing community. Without you guys, I might fill with too much self-loathing and be one of those people who announces they’re quitting the writing world forever, see you on the other side. When I’m smart I remind myself it doesn’t matter what stage of our career we’re in–just starting, manuscript complete, querying, agented, on sub, published–we all have the same nagging doubts and fears.

So let me ward that off for you. When you sit there and ask yourself am I good enough? the answer is yes. When you wonder if you’ll ever be successful, the answer is yes. When you think you can’t possibly do this for one more day, the answer is you can. 

Now all I have to do is remember that myself.


Author: G.L. Jackson

Writer, reader, amateur photographer. Mostly, I just like pretending to be a different person each day of the week.

10 thoughts on “Striving for Positivity

  1. :hugs:

    It feels like a natural state we all go in and out of, but it’s so important to not let the self-doubt swallow us up.

    And to you:

    When you sit there and ask yourself am I good enough? the answer is yes. When you wonder if you’ll ever be successful, the answer is yes. When you think you can’t possibly do this for one more day, the answer is you can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been so “here” for the past week or so.

    Querying is not going well.
    Because the full I had rejected very early was rejected.

    I don’t feel secure enough in any writing community.
    Although I have a sudden influx of community options.

    The revision I was supposed to finish in April has lopped around to begin again and feels never ending.
    It also feels like some of the best most connected writing I’ve ever done.

    I have no confidence in my writing and no desire to stop. It’s hard.


    Liked by 1 person

    • One thing I’ve found is that there’s never a shortage of community options, but we have to pick carefully. Otherwise we can get overwhelmed with feedback.

      Also, rejection sucks. This is a business built on rejection and often on being ignored, and it’s not easy. For all those people out there who go “oh yeah, I could write a book!” — sure, you can write it. Just try to get it published, though. Or agented.

      Sounds like you’re due for a new dedicated critique partner.


  3. It’s weird for me because the actual rejection is usually easier than the loss of hope. Like I can take an agent not liking my story enough… but the thought that I might be done was hard to lose. And then I realized my only real requests were from pitching at a conference last July, not my query. So I’m kind of starting over, feeling low and overwhelmed with “help” but not the support really crave.

    Because you’re right, I’m not finding the right community. Options I’ve got, but I’m ending up with a din of voices a lot of unnecessary frustration. See my query. I miss a tight circle and trusted voices. I haven’t had that in a long, long time.

    thanks for listening. It’s hard to feel lonely in a storm of voices. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Every writer needs support. We need people we click with, who get what we’re doing, who appreciate the way we do it. That’s why finding a CP through some random site is a bit fraught with peril. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you can get a query critique that makes sense, sometimes you can’t. But we need people whose opinions we trust, right? Otherwise it doesn’t matter how many people surround us. We can be lost in the middle of a crowd.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s hard to find good CPs in general. I had a designated partner for a long time, and the worst thing about H moving away from writing toward publication was I didn’t know how lucky I was to have her. What sucks the most sometimes is I’m a damned good critique partner because of H, but I need that deep level of commitment back. I’m trying to pull a usable group from the larger herd. But it’s slow and still fraught with peril.

        Oh, where are you pitching? I’ve been successful at getting requests in the past. Let me know if you want some tip or just encouragement.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the thoughts of encouragement😄

    Liked by 1 person

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