Sunday, February 8, 2009

Slaying the Doubt Demons

Monday February 9th

My guest today is Romance author, Susan Gable. Susan is the author of five published novels and has won
numerous awards for her writing, including the National Readers’ Choice award. Given that track record, she has it made. Doesn’t she? Certainly she wouldn’t have bad days or doubts…



They've been after me for a while now, and the other night, I was ambushed again.

By the Doubt Demons.

I hate those guys! I'd finally managed to get some pages done on my new proposal. And as soon as I quit actually typing, the Doubt Demons started whispering in my ear. You probably know the kinds of things they say. "This is horrible. Your editor will hate it. Your readers will hate it. Who do you think you're kidding? No one wants to read this. You don't have a clue what you're doing."

Arrrggghh!

You know what slays Doubt Demons? Laughter. They can't stand laughter. I posted on my Facebook about my Doubt Demons, and before I knew it, two of my Facebook Friends had come to my rescue. We ended up having a really fun little chat about Demon Slayers, and boots (you know if you're going to be a Slayer, you have to have really COOL boots!) and Danny's Dead Demon Cleanup Service. (Because slaying demons is MESSY! And I certainly wasn't going to clean up that mess!)

And I know we were all laughing. I was. And I felt a lot better after that.

Friends, whether they're actually Demon Slayers or not, are another critical tool in slaying the Doubt Demons. Friends can tell you that you really don't suck rotten lemons as a writer, and this book will be good. (Of course, they can also tell you when you really ARE getting off-track. That makes their positive statements all that much more believable.)

I've also found positive affirmations to be helpful. I keep good reviews close by, so I can reread them. Doubt Demons shrink before good reviews like vampires before garlic and crosses. Positive letters from readers also help. (So if you're a reader, and you're toying with the idea of dropping an author an email, letting them know how much you enjoyed their latest book, DO IT! I promise you, the author is going to be thrilled. And just maybe, your letter/email will become a Demon Slayer!)

To a certain extent, the Doubt Demons serve a useful purpose. They keep us on our toes, always striving to deliver the best story/article/poem/whathaveyou to our readers. They make us rethink plots and character behaviors, word choices, and dialogue. They're our internal editors when they're of appropriate size. It's only when that internal editor grows out of control, like Dr. Jekel's Mr. Hyde, or Peter Banner's Incredible Hulk, that we have true Doubt Demons.

Know that you are not alone. It doesn't matter how long you've been writing, if you're published or unpublished, won lots of awards, hit bestsellers lists...the Doubt Demons strike all of us at one time or another. (And sometimes another, and another, and...)

But we don't have to let them win. Slay them with laughter, positive words, and friends.


***

Look for Susan Gables latest release, A Kid to the Rescue, Romantic Times Top Pick—4.5 stars. Release Date is February 10, 2009.

Visit Susan's website: www.SusanGable.com

23 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Susan, I want to thank you for coming and sharing your thoughts on doubts and sharing laughter with us, Over Coffee.

My new motto?
Doubt Demon Slayer Extraordinaire.
Have boots will travel...

netti said...

Well said!

I find laughter helps with everything, a little dose of laughter goes a really long way :)

Susan Gable said...

Hey, Sia! Thanks for having me here for Coffee, and thanks for helping slay those Doubt Demons! I'm looking forward to hanging out here today.

Kathy Otten said...

Susan,

It is nice to know one is not alone in suffering from those doubt demons, and your right, they do help make writing better, which for me is something I easily lose sight of.

Cindy Procter-King said...

Excellent post, Susan. How about, Have Boots - Will Kick. ;) (the doubt demons that is).

tinaferraro said...

I, too, suffer from those pesky doubts. Whatever I'm working on at the moment is generally the WORST thing I've ever written. Until it's done, when I kinda like it. And it's published, and I'm actually proud of it. And then I go back into the vicious cycle of disliking the current one... Sheesh! Great blog, Susan. We all need to be demon doubt slayers!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I like the way you think Cindy, lolol! I love your website by the way. It's beautiful and easy to use.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tina, most readers, don't realize that. I know other writers who it's only them. That's why I liked Susan's topic. We all have doubts about our work at some point.

Funny, this was a topic in my writing group, the Writin' Wombats. It was amazing to see the responses. Writers, published and unpublished, some you would never think of as having doubts or worries about their writing, sharing the fact that hell yah they have self doubts.

thanks for stopping by, Tina, I appreciate it.

Diana_Duncan said...

I think the doubt demons do serve a useful purpose when kept in proportion. They make me strive to keep getting better.

I'm never in danger of getting complacent. Once that happens, a writer might as well go make pizzas for a living or something. Not that I don't love a good pizza...hmmmm...

aries18 said...

I'm going right out and get myself a pair of Demon Slayer Boots! I need them to help me slay my own Doubt Demons and those of my friends in Wombatia. Thanks for the laughs Susan. I'm going to take this to heart, especially the next time my Doubt Demons attack.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Wanda, lolol! I'm picturing you in boots and kicking Arse! You can do it too! I'll let you borrow my whip...

Diana, I agree. Doubts keep us on our toes. Realistically, we know when something is good or it's not. When we're challenging ourselves to try something different, or stretch, the demons can be vicious. But not giving up, pushing through them all, it feels good when you look at your finished product. When an editor reads it and goes, hmmm, I like this, it's all worth while.

Now pizza sounds good about right now...

Susan Gable said...

The Doubt Demons do seem to come after all writers. Hmmmm...I wonder if even Nora Roberts gets Doubt Demons?

I think maybe the way she keeps them at bay is simply by writing so fast, the Doubt Demons can't catch up to her! LOL.

Aries, ask Sia where she got her Demon Slayer Boots because she has an awesome pair.

Tina, I go back and forth all the time. This is good, no it's horrible, nah, it's not that bad, yes, it's the worst... LOL. I'm like a ping pong ball.

Pat Bertram said...

Susan, I'm sure you're right -- Nora Roberts writes so fast, the demons can't catch up to her! I know us mortals can't. She writes a book in the time it takes me to write a page or two.

Incidentally, that's another way of keeping those doubting demons at bay: don't write! (Though that isn't really an option, because not writing brings on a whole new set of demons.)

ML said...

I solved the doubt problems years ago by having no doubts my writing sucks. ;-) Well, there was a 15 year break in there but that was because of other reasons where I just couldn't put pencil to paper any longer.

Dana S. said...

I'm a reader who dabbles at writing. Many times I read something extraordinary and think, what do I have to offer by commenting? Anyone who writes at this level doesn't need or want feedback from the likes of me. Next time, I'll remember that even the best of the best have doubts and leave a nice, albeit simple, comment. Because it's true; reading something positive about your writing does muffle the doubt demon's voice.

Kat Sheridan said...

Ooo, Double D's (Doubt Demons; what were you thinking?) LOL! And yes, laughter helps so much. And friends, who pick up the phone and say, wow, I think you need a friend. And Dana S., as Susan points out, no matter how big or famous the author is, it's always nice to know someone read their stuff and liked it!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Mike, it might have been a 15 year break but you've more than made up for it with your beautiful pieces.

Dana, your dabbles are quite good. I've enjoyed reading them. What do you have to offer? You're own unique voice and perceptions of things and then your ability to share it with others with your words.

Thanks for stopping by...
:-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Kat! lolol! Only you! I never thought of that.
But you're so right, pick up the phone or send an unexpected email with seems to show up at just the right time...

Susan did a great job with this article, didn't she? I love her humor and her ability to invoke laughter! Wasn't that a great opening line?

"They've been after me for a while now, and the other night, I was ambushed again."

jrafferty said...

Susan, the term "Doubt Demons" is a colorful way of characterizing the insecurities people, whether they are writers or not, feel from time to time. I agree that affirmation from your peers or good reviews offer ways to push back and put those demons to rest. Until the next time . . .

James

Dana Fredsti/Inara LaVey said...

I can be a slayer...I have cool boots!

But more on topic, love the post, Susan and Sia!

VA said...

Doubt Demons need to be kicked back into the closet, I don't know who leaves the door open, but when they're loose, sheesh! I like the humor aspect, I'll have to try it. Thanks.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I want to thank Susan for taking time out of her very busy schedule to be a guest on my blog and thank all that came by and viewed it (128 people) and those of you who commented.

Be sure to look for Susan's latest book in her series, Suddenly Parent and A Kid to the Rescue.

Terrie said...

Facebook did come and reasue you Susan. great interview Sia