Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

Second-Guessing Yourself?


Second-Guessing Yourself? A Little Self-Help To The Rescue ~

You can tell the areas I need to work on in my own life by my blog topics. Well, I never claimed to have it all together…

I have spent the last few days second-guessing myself as a writer. My head has been spinning in a million different directions lately, and I find myself spread thinner and thinner with my over-achiever-sized ambitions. I am writing poetry, fiction, and journaling my writing journey for this blog. That’s a lot of writing for a full-time teacher/wife/mother. But, as I’ve written before… I can pace myself and feel good about doing a little at a time. ( I know how to do that. It’s just sometimes it all weighs in at once and even amidst my own good intentions, I can feel overwhelmed with direction.

That’s how I’m feeling today.


So, as I am attempting intentionality in my life, I took my one day (or maybe two) to let things settle… of slowing my steps and rethinking my life. That may have looked like staying in bed most of the day and watching the Olympics (or a small run of Cupcake Wars). But, inside I was processing my life. In the end, I decided to google my issue for support, and not too surprisingly, found lots of resources on “second guessing yourself.”

For starters, here is the definition of “second-guess” from Merriam-Webster:

Definition of second-guess

transitive verb

1 : to criticize or question actions or decisions of (someone) often after the results of those actions or decisions are known; also : to engage in such criticism of (an action or decision) second-guess the general’s strategy

2 : to seek to anticipate or predict

I already knew what it meant… felt like…looked like in my life. Now I need to overcome it. I think learning to define our feelings (regardless if we already know) causes us to deal with them. And after an entire day (or two) of swimming in my own mess of directionality-overhaul, I needed the parameters. You see, once you know where your borders fall, you can plan accordingly.



I have been overwrought questioning my many hats again. Only this time, instead of balancing wife/mother/teacher… I was balancing my many hats of writer: poet, fiction writer, blogger. I criticized my own focus and direction. I began to anticipate choosing between my three writing loves. But, I couldn’t choose, (hence my mess).



Am I ready to give up one of my writing hats? Not just yet! So, I needed to figure out a method to move on. Honestly, I still don’t have the perfect answer, but I already feel better re-establishing my boundaries. Again, calling my feelings what they are has helped me feel better. It’s made my stress feel real, validated, and less floaty in my mind. Now, even if the questions of directionality are still there (which they are), I can put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. I think that’s probably the best advice for myself – keep moving forward. Keep moving forward. Keep moving forward.


I am assuming you have possibly felt this way at times, and that’s why you’re still reading this article. As I said above, I don’t have all the answers, but I’m going to try a few things from the article posted below: 9 Ways to Stop Second-Guessing Yourself & Trust Your Own Decisions. It’s not geared for writers, specifically, but I found some of the suggestions helpful. For example, I going to try writing down three of my accomplishments every day (no matter how trivial). I think it will help put me in the right mind-set.

9 Ways To Stop Second-Guessing Yourself & Trust Your Own Decisions, By Raven Ishak016

For now, keep writing. Just keep on writing. That’s what I’ve decided to do.


Writing Advice: Keep Writing X3 (and anchor down)

I think in light of trying to stop second-guessing ourselves as writers, I would encourage you to do what you do – write like you would any other day. Then, just before you call it a day, list three things you did well as the writer you are. I’m channeling a little of my last article, Metacogni-Love. ( Find three things you love about what you wrote (or accomplished while trying to write), and jot them down. Maybe you only find one. One is enough. We truly have to be our own cheerleaders in this overly competitive and critical world we’ve chosen to be free in. Let’s give ourselves an anchor. Each day when we re-read those little notes of accomplishments, it can provide leverage to build on. Give it a try.


Write something down about your writing time you are proud of… be it sentence structure, a difficult part you’ve been trying to work through, maybe a clever line in a poem, or in a piece of dialogue. Maybe you achieved a load of laundry in while creating an action scene, or paid a few bills online while contemplating the topic for a new poem. Write these tiny coups down. They all count. And once you’re anchored in, you only have up to go. Of course, you can simply hang out where you are until you get your bearings too. Just keep writing.

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4 replies

  1. I’ve been needing these posts of yours… I’m looking for direction and haven’t some trouble finding it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’d be unusual if I didn’t second guess myself once a week – whether I’m in a terrible writing burnout, or if I just don’t like a particular sentence I’ve written, but, like you, I’ve tried to see it as doing little things at a time. So, for example, I’ll write 300 words a day, and that’s enough for me – and if I don’t, well, I’ll still try to see 100 words as an achievement, and it’s reinforcing that positive attitude which keeps me going!

    Liked by 1 person

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