02 September 2011

Fiction Friday: trust your writing gut

I very recently asked my heart sister for writing advice about the collection of books I'm working on. Basically, I have a list of books I've been thinking of including in this collection with the coffee house book, but I know it's likely that not all of them will work. So I was seeking her advice about which ones she thought sounded compelling.

She gave me her opinion based on the poorly-written synopses I gave her, and said,
All of these are ideas you can do something wonderful with, mind - it's just the ones I've highlighted, I see the most potential in. I could be wrong. You could take the concept on the list I think is the most dull (no, I'm not telling you which it is!) and turn it into the most extraordinary one of all.
She's right.

She always is.

As much advice as I ask, as much feedback as I get, only I know what these stories have to offer and what I can do with them. Only I know what the best course is for this collection.

I have to trust myself as I write these stories. I have feelings about which stories will work and which should probably be included only in my journal. And I have those feelings for a reason. My writer's gut is telling me which direction to go. I just have to trust it.

As writers, it's sometimes easy to trust other people's opinions more than our own. After all, writers are seeking approval of fellow writers, agents and publishers and, ultimately, readers. We want to know that what we're doing is going to be read and enjoyed by people.

But only you know the best way to do your characters justice. Only you know how to write your stories. You have to trust yourself.

It may not be easy, and I know writers who have self-confidence...issues (like myself) may think it's impossible, but it's what you have to do. After all, if you're going to trust everyone else's opinions about your story, why not just save time and let them write the story from beginning to end?

It can be good to get opinions and feedback, but don't take others' opinions as the only answer about your writing. Your opinion is the most important when you're writing.

Trust yourself! And happy scribbling!


  1. This was wise and wonderful and inspired a post for this Tuesday.

    Add that to the list of reasons I love you. You'll have to squidge it in at the bottom or perhaps in a margin somewhere - that list is rather full, and it's already covered the other side of the paper, I'm afraid. ;-)

  2. I'm glad you liked it.

    And thanks for the flattery....!


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