If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

June Interviews

6/3 Gretchen Archer, Double Trouble
6/10 Kaye George, Deadly Sweet Tooth
6/17 Annette Dashofy, Til Death
6/24 Adam Meyer

Saturday Guest Bloggers

6/6 Mary Keliikoa
6/13 William Ade
6/20 Liz Milliron

WWK Bloggers:

6/27 Kait Carson
6/30 WWK Writers--What We're Reading Now


Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel, and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination! All are winners but without Agatha Teapots. Onto 20121!

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!


Friday, June 8, 2018

Taming Self-doubt by Warren Bull

image from pixabay

Doubter number one:Dame Judith Dench, winner of an Academy Award,six British Academy Film Awards, four BAFTA TV Awards, seven Olivier Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Tony Award, said that after she finishes an acting project she always worries that she will not be offered another role.

How can you counter self-doubt?
Recognize and challenge those inner critical voices.  You weren’t born doubting. Those voices are not the authentic you. They like to hide and sneak up on you when you are vulnerable. Tell them, “Oh, it’s you again. I know you and your lies.” Remind them, and yourself, of times when you’ve overcome tough circumstances. They will fade.

Beware of outside voices that tell you failure is on the way. Whether these people are misguidedly trying to keep you from getting hurt, projecting their fears onto you or just jealous that your success might challenge them to do better, they are not people you want to rely on. Doubts are contagious. Fortunately, confidence is equally contagious. You can find positive, successful people to hang out with.

Doubter number two: George Washington, before his inauguration, wrote to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Rutledge: “I greatly apprehend that my countrymen will expect too much from me. I fear, if the issue of public measures should not correspond with their sanguine expectations, they will turn the extravagant praises which they are heaping upon me at this moment into equally extravagant censures.”

More strategies to turn down the volume of critical inner voices:
Be kind to yourself. So many of us find it easier to be compassionate toward others than to ourselves. Imagine that someone else was in the situation you are criticizing yourself for. Would you be harsh toward that person? No. Then apply the same standards to you. When did you sign a contract that obligates you to being perfect?
Redefine failure
Failure is proof that we are actively pursuing something; not sitting around waiting passively for something to come to us. Failure provides feedback of what did not work and what did. Most likely what happened was a partial success. We can hang onto what worked and change what did not work. Some seeming failures are actually unexpected successes. Post-in notes came from repurposing an adhesive that did not hold nearly as well as intended. 

Doubter number three: Leonardo Da Vinci, also struggled with self-doubt. Known for the "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper," and other magnificent works of art,  Da Vinci was known during his lifetime for dithering and even abandoning projects. A line from one of his diaries read: "Tell me if I ever did a thing."

Ask. The truth will set you free…of crippling doubt

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Realistically would failure begin a nuclear winter? Would you be blackballed from all further contact with another human being? If not, then it would be disappointing and possibly embarrassing. Yeah and so what? The image in your mind is much worse than the reality. 
Ask yourself, “What’s the best that could happen?” Keep your eyes on the prize. Focus on the goal and the little successes that will get you to the goal.

As the three doubting people mentioned above prove, self-doubt is very common. It does not predict failure. The only failure is not acting and even that failure is only temporary. The first step, through fear and doubt, however tiny, is a success. Fear and doubt will diminish. More success awaits.


Annette said...

Excellent piece, Warren. It's always a bit comforting to hear that some of the best of the best also face doubts and fear of failure.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Thanks, Warren. Good advice. I've progressed from "you really can't write and I'm wasting my time reading your submission" to "you should prioritize the romance to make your characters more believable, but watch out for purple prose."

And so it goes.

KM Rockwood said...

It's not easy to reprogram those voices in your head that tell you you don't measure up, especially when they are just repeating what you've been told as a kid by the people you desperately wanted to approve. But it can be done, and at some point you can rewrite your own script. And listen to it.

Liz Milliron said...

Great post. If all these great people had self-doubt and succeeded, how can I be any different?


Gloria Alden said...

Wonderful post, Warren. I find that as I age I try to ignore the doubts as much as possible. If some don't like what I write, oh well, we all have different ideas. If I'm not going to win any awards for my books, stories or poems, it doesn't matter. I'm writing because I love writing.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


An excellent post. We writers accumulate many rejections that make us doubt our abilities. However, there is great satisfaction in knowing that we've done our very best and persisted.

M. K. Waller said...

Thanks for the validation and the encouragement. When I said I planned to submit a short story for publication, a friend said, "Start at the top." So I submitted it to a major magazine, where it's been for nine months and eight days. (I started counting days in month eight.) Some days, it's a masterpiece; some days, it's three levels below rotten. I'm just glad it was a masterpiece the day I sent it off. In P. D. James memoir, she say more than once (as I remember it), I didn't know whether I would write another book. Later she would say, Then I saw ABC and thought XYZ, and I knew I would write another book. If James doubted, I guess I'm in good company--as long as I don't let it linger.

E. B. Davis said...

These are wonderful examples, Warren. I have difficulty with self-doubt. This is one blog I'll keep and read now and again. Thank you.

Jim Jackson said...

Always a timely reminder to those of us who suffer from self-doubt.

In my experience those who never suffer from self-doubt -- should!