Confessions of a Self-Doubter

Notes from my college writing course.

This blog has officially been up and running for one month! I suppose, if you want to get technical, it has been one month and two days–but I had a busy weekend, so I am celebrating today instead.

I want to say thank you to each and every person that has stopped by to read my stories. I am honored that you would take the time to read them, and share them with your children.

I have always enjoyed writing–even from a very young age. Most of the writing that I did when I was younger was in response to a prompt from my classes at school. It wasn’t until middle school that I remember writing for fun. Back then, I did not write about marshmallows and jellybeans.

I doubt that I would be able to find it, but I distinctly remember writing a horror story while I was supposed to be listening to my eighth grade English teacher. Sorry, Mama, that’s why I got such bad grades that year. It was about a girl who, for whatever reason, spent a lot of time staring out of her bedroom window. She lived by a river (which is totally realistic, I know) and one night she saw a clown (you know the kind of clown I’m talking about) float down the water. She decided to investigate. That’s right, folks, my main character was a genius.

I loved writing scary stories. I kept at it through high school (with a brief detour while I wrote my life story as if it was a teen drama, because I am also a genius) and on into college. It was in college that I took my first writing course, and all the pieces started falling into place. I knew then that I wanted to be writer. I wanted to be an author. I wanted to see my book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. I wanted to drink tea with Stephen King, not just because that would be amazing, but because I wanted to be that level of awesome.

After college I kept writing. I wrote because I loved it, but my end game was always to be published. That is still the goal. But I have a confession. I’m scared.

Like most aspiring authors, I have at least three novels that I started and never finished–but not because I lost interest. Halfway through each one, I began second guessing myself. I would look at authors like Stephen King and think about how I would never be that successful. I would stare at my words and hear the inevitable criticism that would follow should the world ever be given an opportunity to read them. And so, one by one, I shut them down. I closed my journals. I put them away.

As I type this, they are hidden underneath the shirts and probably an odd shoe or two in my closet. I put them there to keep them safe from the tiny hands that explore my house looking for something to destroy. I also put them there because, and I hate to say this, I gave up on them.

Friends, I have had this blog for one month. I have drafts of five potential picture books in a similar journal that has migrated from my counter top to my bookshelf. I am no closer to querying agents than I was one month ago. I still have very little time to revise and polish these manuscripts, but this time I am not giving up.

Occasionally, if you’ll bear with me, I am going to use this blog as a way to check in on my progress. Hopefully, one month from now, I will have moved closer to my goal. And hopefully, you will still be reading and progressing with me.

Have you ever given up on a goal? Do you have a hard time getting motivated? Do you have any tips on how to stay the course even if you doubt yourself? Let. Me. Know. Comment below or come find me on social media. Chances are, your encouragement will make my day.

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3 thoughts on “Confessions of a Self-Doubter

  1. Mandy says:

    I have always loved reading your stories, and creating stories together. I think sometimes as mamas, we tend to think that spending time doing anything that isn’t kid or housework related is selfish and feel guilty about that. Where I’m feeling that way, I look at my daughters and think about what I want for them. Would I think it was selfish if they were spending some time in their adult lives pursuing a gift that God gave them to share with the world? Never! So proud of you, we’re big fans over here! Keep on keeping on. And if you ever want someone to look through your stuff as offer constructive criticism and affirmation, I’m your girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amy Blanchard says:

      Yes!! I do feel guilty! There is so much that needs to be done over here, and there isn’t enough time in the day to do all of it. Example—laundry mountain. How am I supposed to tackle that sucker and find time to write? It’s impossible.

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  2. jennifermillerwriter says:

    Confidence and motivation are probably a struggle for many writers, but one thing I found that helped me recently was joining a writer’s group called Word Weavers. 🙂 I hope you’ll keep working with your picture books! I’m sure your kids would love to hear your stories, maybe even more than you enjoy writing them!

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