Writers Write is a resource for writers. Enjoy this post by American author, Dean Koontz on overcoming self-doubt.
Dean Koontz is an American author of many bestselling novels. He was born 9 July 1945.
He won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition when he was in college and has been writing ever since. His books are published in 38 languages and he has sold over 500 million copies to date.
He says: ‘Write what you are most passionate about writing. Don’t scope the market and write what you think is currently hot. What is currently hot will not be hot three years from now, and you won’t at that time want to be labelled as a writer of that particular genre. Make your own genre as best you can.’
He also speaks about how he channels his self-doubt. We found this advice on overcoming and using self-doubt to his advantage on his website.
Dean Koontz On Overcoming Self-Doubt
‘I have more self-doubt than any writer I’ve ever known. That is one reason I revise every page to the point of absurdity!
The positive aspect of self-doubt – if you can channel it into useful activity instead of being paralysed by it – is that by the time you reach the end of a novel, you know precisely why you made every decision in the narrative, the multiple purposes of every metaphor and image. Having been your own hardest critic you still have dreams but not illusions. Consequently, thoughtless criticism or advice can’t long derail you.
You become disappointed in an agent, in an editor, in a publisher, but never discouraged. If anyone in your publishing life were to argue against a particular book or a career aspiration for reasons you had not already pondered and rejected after careful analysis, if they dazzled you with brilliant new considerations, then you’d have to back off and revisit your decisions. But what I was told never dazzled me.’
Because he has worked through every page, powered by his self-doubt, Dean Koontz is able to move forward with confidence.
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TIP: If you want help writing a book, buy The Novel Writing Exercises Workbook.