Ask the Coach: 6 Antidotes for Self-Doubt in Writing – On Script Mag

In this month’s “Ask the Coach” article, I’m addressing a set of questions from a reader about managing self-doubt in writing.

“[My] fear of failure has several prongs for me:

1. What if no one likes my writing? I’m trying to make it as truthful as it is filled with emotion and colorful descriptions, but maybe it’s just me because I relate to it all.

2. I’m currently writing a memoir that involves some memories of my parents and their failures — but good memories also. I feel guilty/disloyal for writing about their failures, but to some extent that’s where the strength of the story lies.

3. What I create in my head as I’m falling asleep never seems to be as great when I put it into my computer.

4. I suffer off and on with imposter syndrome, but I usually like what I write in the end.”

This is a set of challenging questions so many writers wrestle with. It reads to me like issues of self-doubt more than a fear of failure, though the two are intertwined.

First let me say this: In working with writers all over the world, being a writer myself, and reading first-hand accounts of seasoned, professional writers, so many if not all writers deal with self-doubt and fear much of the time (including me).

Here are the 6 antidotes I discuss in my response:

  1. Use self-doubt as a clue that what you’re working on is important.
  2. Trust that truth transcends differences.
  3. Ask yourself empowering questions.
  4. With memoir, write for yourself first.
  5. Embrace the vision while also welcoming imperfection.
  6. Trust the process.

The real key to all of this is learning to manage the doubts and the fears so they don’t stop you from writing, and so that they don’t make the experience of writing miserable along the way, by triggering overwhelming negative self-talk, habitual procrastination, perfectionism, and even shame.


Want the full scoop? Get all the details in the full article on Script Mag:
If you’ve got writing questions, please send them my way!
I’d love to answer them for you in my column.

Ask the Coach: How Can I Keep Up My Confidence In Myself as a Writer? – On Script Mag

In this month’s “Ask the Coach” article, I’m responding to a question about how to keep up confidence in writing:

“My biggest challenge is making regular time to write and work on a script. My question is about keeping my confidence up that I can do this.”

Here’s the high-level overview of my response:

  • Being confident means feeling self-assured, believing in yourself and your abilities, and trusting that you can rely on yourself.
  • Build confidence through experience and by taking action.
  • Protect your confidence by making smart choices about who you interact with and with whom you share your work.
  • How you talk to yourself really matters.
  • Taking consistent, regular action to write builds confidence.
  • Starting and finishing scripts makes a big difference.
  • Facing and solving tough story challenges teaches you that your storytelling skills are improving.
  • The evidence you take in matters.
  • Choosing to believe in yourself ultimately comes first — it’s a choice.

When you take creative risks, however small, and build on your successes, you gradually learn where and how you can trust yourself.

Want the full scoop? There are more details in the full article on Script Mag: 
Ask the Coach: How Can I Keep Up My Confidence In Myself as a Writer?

If you’ve got writing questions, please send them my way!
I’d love to answer them for you in my column.
Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash 

How to grow into your dream

Last week I wrote about the most important work you’ll ever do, which is getting out of your own way so you can make your dream real. Along the way, you’ll also need to grow into and trust your dream.

Growing Into Your Dream

You’ll also need to allow yourself to grow into your dream over time.

Here’s how:

  • Step 1. Get Clear: The first phase of making a dream real is getting clear on what it IS, even if the details are fuzzy. What would be deliciously fun for you? What would you be thrilled beyond reason to do? I want to be a published writer.
  • Step 2. Own It: The second phase is owning it — being clear, inside, about who you are, what you are going to do, and why you are doing it. Still okay if the details are fuzzy. This looks like believing and knowing in your heart you are an artist or healer, even before you are doing it in the world. I am a writer!
  • Step 3. Envision It: Now start to imagine the possibilities for HOW this dream can come into being. What kind of writer (or X) do you want to be? What would you be writing about (or working on)? What would be fun? I want to write a sci-fi script.
  • Step 4. Do It: The fourth phase is where your dream become external — where you start taking action in the outside world, without indulging that part of your brain that wants to give up before you even start because it’s too hard or because you think you have to be perfect before you’ll even attempt it. Remember, this whole idea that we can figure it all out before we start is just a way of playing it safe. I am writing — and people know about it.

Then, it’s time to trust and take action.

Trusting Your Dream

Trusting your dream means being willing to pursue it even when the going gets rough (and even when you aren’t totally sure it’s quite the right dream and maybe your mom was right and you should have just stuck with that graduate school degree after all).

Trusting your dream looks like:

  • Showing up daily and doing the work, bit by bit, come hell or high water.
  • Getting up and writing or painting or working even when you don’t want to or when you’re not in the mood.
  • Believing in the project you picked and seeing it through to the end.
  • When you think what you’ve created is pure crap, you don’t give up, but see it as an opportunity to do better.

Can you allow yourself to grow into your dream and trust it?

Your Turn

I always love hearing from you in the comments on my blog.



Coming Attractions

~> November 10th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough ‘Big Vision’ Group. Sold out. Details about future groups — yes, you might want to get on the waiting list.

~> Wednesday, November 16th at 3 p.m. Pacific Time. Something free, fun, and writerly: A Writer’s Chat. Registration details TBA.

~> November 28th. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts. Sign up here.


~> This weekend. Right Brain Business Planning with my buddy Kris Carey. Last two chapters to go!

~> Ongoing. Writing for the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. Now working on “plotting and outlining.”

~> FRIDAYS & now daily too. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.