I had a lovely email from a lady called Nicola recently telling me that she liked one of my stories in Fiction Feast (always a lovely thing to read). It's great to have correspondence with people who have found my blog useful or inspirational and so I was pleased to hear how a recent assignment of hers has been deemed ready for publication. Despite this success, though, Nicola told me she had been hitting walls of self doubt and asked for some advice.
The odd thing was that while thinking about my reply I saw a Facebook post that was so inspirational in itself that I just had to ask the owner of that quote, Tim Bowler, if I could use it on my blog - to help others who are grappling with their gremlins.
Here it is:
I've always found self-doubt a strange nomadic creature: a kind of hobo who pitches his tent outside the back door and never quite moves on. Even when the muse turns up on time, he's whittling a stick nearby, yet I'm deeply fond of him and always have been. He may be a little unwashed and he certainly eats too much of my food, but he has virtues. He grounds me, challenges me, makes me fight for my story. So, welcome, friend, stay as long as you want. You make me stronger.
Although Tim is a Facebook Friend, I didn't know anything about him as a writer but his words were so powerful that I knew he must be good so I popped over to his website to find out more about him only to find this:
Tim has written twenty books for teenagers and won fifteen awards, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal. He has been described by the Sunday Telegraph as ‘the master of the psychological thriller’ and by the Independent as ‘one of the truly individual voices in British teenage fiction’. His books have sold over a million copies worldwide.
So now I'm a bit embarrassed that I didn't know who he was... Sorry Tim!
But your words have hopefully helped Nicola and they'll certainly help me next time self doubt creeps in.