“What If My Work is Rubbish?” Self-Doubt is a Struggle.

Hello creative people!

I hope you are having a great day and week. Those of us in Lagos have enjoyed the rain since the beginning of the week, but thankfully today has been quite sunny! Grateful for little mercies!

Today, I’m going to talk about something that ALL writers face, whether you’re working on your first book, or your fifty-third one. It is self-doubt. Several times, I get aspiring authors telling me, “I’ve tried to write a book, but I felt it wasn’t great.” or “I wrote a few chapters but it was rubbish, so I stopped and put the manuscript away.” Or some other variation of this feeling.

The best writers struggle with self-doubt. It’s like we all have a harsh inner critic, judging us. There are those negative voices in your head, telling you that your work is crap, nobody would spend their time reading this, you won’t even sell a copy, this is a waste of time, etc. I’m pretty sure every writer, including your favourites, and even the greats like Stephen King, Chinua Achebe, Sidney Sheldon, Hemmingway and Shakespeare have all battled these negative voices at some point. It’s totally normal. You’re totally normal. So, relax if you’re a new writer and you feel anxious because you’re worried that your work is not good enough.

The problem is that most of us are comparing our rough, clumsy first draft, with somebody else’s fully edited, polished and proofread twenty-first draft. When you buy a novel or a non-fiction book, it has usually gone through several drafts, rewrites, edits, changes and amendments.

Here’s the thing: if you want to get to the end of the process, you have to learn to ignore those negative voices, and just keep writing. Tell that inner critic to shut up and let you focus on writing for now. When you’re starting out as a writer working on a first draft, your only job is to get the ideas and characters out of your head and onto paper (or screen). So do that alone. As long as you have a beginning, middle and end, your first draft is good enough. If you keep letting the inner critic stop you from writing, you’ll never finish writing anything, and you won’t ever publish anything. Now that would be sad. We don’t want that.

So I want to encourage you. Stay focused and keep writing until you get to the finish line. One really important thing to remember is that your writing may have problems, but that changes absolutely nothing. Think about this: if you don’t write and fail, how are you supposed to learn? You have to learn how to write. You have to write to know what to improve on. I started writing in 2007 and when I read stuff that I wrote back then, I’m glad I stuck with it because I can see that I’ve improved. And it’s the same for every writer. We were all amateurs at some point, but some people stuck with it and gradually got better. That said, I’m still learning how to write. I still have areas where the self-doubt creeps in but it shows me that my writing is still a work-in-progress.

If your writing needs to improve, you can finish the first draft, then take some time away to get some distance from it. When you come back with fresh eyes, you can then unleash your inner critic to judge your work. And the point of critiquing the work is not to tear yourself down, but to look for ways to improve it. Keep going! I’m cheering you on.

Two-Day Intensive Creative Writing Workshop

If you’ve been battling with self-doubt and you’re feeling stuck, then you should sign up for my Two-Day Intensive Creative Writing Workshop!  This will be a practical, hands-on, intensive two-day writing workshop. We will get to grips with your questions about writing a novel, break through your writing blocks, and generate a lot of ideas to get your creativity flowing again. We will delve into a step-by-step guide for writing a novel, techniques for creating interesting characters, and straighten every crook on how to create an intriguing plot! At the end of this workshop, you will not only have a great idea for a novel, you will also be armed with the knowledge and practical advice you need to finish writing it, with ease and confidence! Say goodbye to self-doubt and get writing!

I’ll be running the workshop on the 8th and 9th of July, from 9.00am to 4.00pm on both days. The venue is in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. Refreshments will be provided, and all participants will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the second day.

Spaces are limited, and as of today, eight spots have already been taken! We have a Whatsapp group for people who are serious about attending the workshop, and would like to interact with me and other participants. If you’re serious about attending the workshop, please click here to join the Whatsapp group.

So, are you ready to get unstuck? Are you ready to finally start making progress with your writing? Are you ready to reconnect with your creativity? Ready to ignore the negative voices and go for it? Are you ready to write that novel? Then take action now! To register for the workshop, please click here. For enquiries, please call: 08091113678 or reply to this email, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. Let’s get you one or two (or ten) steps closer to your writing desires! Register now.

Here’s my writing quote for the week:

Ties in quite nicely with today’s topic, don’t you think?

That’s all for now folks! Enjoy the rest of the week, and for folks in Nigeria, have a great looooong weekend ahead!


  1. Hello Tolulope, I’m grateful to God to have stumbled on this site! Having said that, my main purpose of searching at all was to see if I can get a place/website where I can be taught how to write better; specifically dramas. I don’t know how you can help, but please I need your guidance. Maybe a course online on how to write dramas (I’ve searched, but came up empty), or a free course online (this I would really appreciate. You might think: don’t we all! Lol!). Well hope to hear from you soon! Thank you.

    • Accomplish Press says

      Hello Paulina, thank you for your comment. Please send an email to publisher @ accomplishpress dot com, and Ms Tolulope will get back to you very soon.

  2. Olufemi Ayoola says

    Very glad to stumble upon your website. It’s been a long time I have been searching for a suitable site where I can study creative writing online. Thank God I have found one. Your article speak it all about my feelings or desire.
    I will register right away. But I don’t have blog for now. What do you say, do I need to do that to start the course?
    Looking forward to hearing from you. (Is my writing above ok?) Somebody had earlier said that my English is not good enough to attract attention if my desire is to go into writing. Pls advise. Thank you.

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