Are Writers Their Own Worst Enemies?

By on March 28, 2019
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Being a positive writer can be challenging. While I want to start each writing session full of energy, brimming with ideas and excited to see what progress I can make, the reality is this is not always the case. Often I can feel sluggish, it can take a strong cup of coffee (or three) to get my brain whirring into action, and a lot of the stuff I write, I read over and think ‘urgh, where did that come from?'

Writers have a lot of negativity to wade through, and a lot of issues to combat that can get in the way of the task at hand. In fact, it is arguably one of the hardest jobs out there for that very reason. Most people don’t go into their place of work and think about how terrible they are at their job, wonder whether there is any point, criticize everything that they do and use every excuse under the sun not to do it. However, for writers, this can be a daily battle.

Writers can be their own worst enemies, and if we don’t get a handle on our negative emotions, this can lead to self-sabotage, slow progress and even giving up on our work altogether.

So what are some of these common issues, and how can we overcome them?


The green-eyed monster can rear it’s ugly head at any time and can be a complicated creature to battle if we allow it to have too much power. From looking at bestselling authors to someone who's had a bit more success self-publishing than you, comparing yourself to other writers is never helpful. You have to accept that things happen to different people at different times and well it can feel so nail-bitingly, eye-wateringly unfair when someone else has great success, and you think ‘why not me?’ that kind of attitude will get you exactly nowhere. So instead of stay focused on your own progress and remind yourself you can only do things your unique way, and that has to be good enough because it’s never going to change.


Writers get anxious about a whole load of things. We worry that we aren’t writing enough, we fear that we aren’t good enough, we get apprehensive about sending our work off in case it gets rejected, or we worry about self-publishing in case someone writes us a negative review. But fretting about such things is pointless. Either you can do something about it to make it better, in which case do it. Or you cannot, in which case, don’t worry about it. Anxiety can clutter your mind, confuse you and turn you into a nervous wreck. So next time you feel anxious about your writing, try to remember that it really is a useless emotion and try to act instead.


Being self-critical is something that almost every writer experiences. It’s not always a bad thing. Learning to recognize when it is warranted however is essential. If you let your inner critic take over to the point where you feel like to you are too overwhelmed to write, that’s when you know you have a problem. Practicing positivity in your writing and learning to park negative emotions to enable you to write freely does take time and effort but getting this under control can make all the difference when it comes to your productivity.

By tackling our negative emotions and learning the coping mechanisms to keep them at bay, we not only free up time that would have been wasted dwelling on these unnecessary worries but also make the writing process more enjoyable overall. So next time you are feeling negative about your writing, try to keep them in check, refocus and remember that crafting your stories should be something positive and enjoyable in your life, and only you have the power to make it so!

bethany cadman

Bethany Cadman -

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