As a writer, how do you overcome paralyzing self-doubt? This author knows how

Sheila M. Good, author of award-winning Hello Hell

Longtime readers may remember where we last saw author Sheila M. Good: in the cow pasture behind her house—a favorite childhood writing spot where she would spend hours filling journal after journal with essays, poems, and short stories.

Well, Sheila’s back in the news, this time as winner of the Fan Favorite Award in the last 10K Social Writing Challenge. It’s a hard-earned award reserved exclusively for novels-in-progress that ChapterBuzz readers have wholeheartedly devoured, which in this case is her current literary fiction effort, Hello Hell.

Seemingly a complete stranger to writer’s block, Sheila met the Challenge’s entire monthly goal of 10,000 words on Day 6—that’s not a typo—and without even slowing down, went on to record a final word count of 39,194 by month’s end. That’s not a typo either.

But there have been times when the words didn’t flow so freely.

“Yes,” is her immediate reply when I ask her if there was ever a time she wanted to quit. “The last five years have been a tremendous challenge for my family and me due to health issues. I was able to move past that dark time by understanding two things: One, that whatever was happening would not last forever. And two, that no one is in control of my schedule but me. I’ve learned to relax, be more flexible with the times I write, and give myself permission to not write every day.”

“Once we put our work out into the world, we’ve opened the door to both the reward of success and the risk of rejection. Do I dare? Will anyone like it?”

To be sure, time is at much more of a premium now than it was in the days of the cow pasture. “Writing, although a pleasure, still requires a significant amount of time and commitment,” says Sheila. “The biggest challenge and struggle for me is, by far, time management. My social media platforms are taking a back burner—it’s easy to get sucked into these and lose focus on one’s writing. Personally, I try to focus on my blog and Hello Hell.”

When will Hello Hell see bookshelves? “I anticipate it to be published this year, in 2018,” she says, acknowledging that she still has some work to do. “I’m mired in research right now, working hard to get the last chapters completed.”

So hurry! While it’s still available on ChapterBuzz, sink your teeth into award-winning Hello Hell right now. You can even weigh in and let Sheila know what you think.

How about you?

Are you ready to buckle down, write 10,000 words, and possibly win an award for your work-in-progress? Join us for the 10K Social Writing Challenge, starting March 1st. Get in while the gettin’s good!

In Sheila’s words:

I believe most writers, particularly new ones, struggle with putting their work out into the world. Once we take that step, we’ve opened the door to both the reward of success and the risk of rejection. Do I dare? Will anyone like it? What if…?

Doubt can be paralyzing, but the best way to overcome doubt is to do it.

Bold emphasis is mine, showing how strongly I agree with Sheila on this last point. Thank you, Sheila, and congratulations once again.

Let’s put your work out into the world! Join us for the Challenge


12 thoughts on “As a writer, how do you overcome paralyzing self-doubt? This author knows how

  1. Pingback: Thanks for The Honor | COW PASTURE CHRONICLES

  2. Lovely post Sheila and Tim. I like that thought that the only way to overcome our doubts is to just get down and do. I go through little stumbling blocks every now and then but it’s such a relief when I strap myself to the chair and actually get the words out – I’m never disappointed that I did! Wishing you all the best for your book Sheila – so exciting. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this article. I re-posted a really cool article of this in my blog under “Produce”. I think you may really like it. There’s so much truth to the notion that fear of judgement or non acceptance can have the potential to really stifle our growth if we allow it to.


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