Writing 101? When to admit you know what you’re doing.

If you follow me on Goodreads, you may have noticed I have been binging books on writing lately. This is not only because I owned a bunch of them and I’m trying to free up space on my Kindle but I keep looking for that one little kernel of knowledge that will take my writing and my sales up to the next level.

That’s not what I seem to be getting.

One of the reasons why I was able to fly through these books so fast (aside for their relatively short length) is a lot of the instruction and advice in these books is quite literally for people who have never put pen to paper before. I know how to plot a story and how to make characters, I know how to write sentences and create story arcs, I know what a three-act structure is. Having to hear this advice over and over again forced me to realize something:

I may not be selling thousands of copies a month but I am an accomplished writer with 11 published titles under my belt. This isn’t to say there’s nothing else I need to learn, far from that. This means I need to stop doubting myself and remember I do have some talent and experience.

I had this same revelation about my career as a librarian and still need to remind myself that I have 11 years under my belt and not to doubt myself about the basics of performing my job.

I suppose this comes from always being told not to brag about my accomplishments and always remember that no matter how good I may be, there is always someone better. Of course, there are people who are better than I am but that doesn’t make me any less of a badass at what I do.

If you’re out there grinding away at life to make your mark, don’t be afraid to have confidence in what you DO know while still moving forward to learn more. I don’t feel I wasted my time on these books at all and this is not to say others can’t learn from them. I just need to get it through my own thick skull: I do have things to learn but I don’t need to start from the very beginning.

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