Friday Finds #writetips #fiction #qotd

Ciao, amici! How was your week? Mine was a mixed bag. I started rolling out some new features on my blog and hope to continue that next week. Every day, Monday through Friday, now has a theme, though I’m willing to preempt days (primarily Tuesdays) for promotions.

I’m taking weekends off. No posting, no reading posts, no social media, no writing or editing (unless I’m terribly behind). This seven-day-a-week schedule has finally broken me. I may (and I stress may) clean out my email just to make my Mondays easier, but I really need the break for my mental health.

Speaking of social media and emails, I’ve had discussions with several writing friends lately (you know who you are) who have been doubting themselves. This boggles my mind, as I’ve read their work (novels, novellas, short stories… even blog posts) and I find them all talented.

Then, I realized, we all suffer doubts. I know I do. And that’s how I came to choose this week’s quote by Mark Twain:

Focus more on your desire than on your doubt,
and the dream will take care of itself.

I know, it’s probably easier said than done. I’m guilty of letting doubt win the battle over desire, too. I’m going to try to be better about that.

This week I had my professional goals meeting at work. Once again, a lot of changes are coming for me and my various pen names. And some of my responsibilities will be changing, too. Some of the changes I’m excited about, other’s I’m kind of dreading. All of them are causing me to doubt myself in one way or another. So, I’m going to try to take Mr. Twain’s advice and let myself dream. I hope you find the strength to do the same.

Let’s talk about our doubts and dreams, shall we? Leave a comment below.

And now, this week’s writing links:

Posts by me, about my work, or at sites I contribute to:


Story Empire

Posts by others in the industry:

To make you smile:

And when you’re done with these links, don’t forget to check out the sidebar, where you’ll find more links to some of my favorite sites.

Have a great weekend! Arrivederci!

68 thoughts on “Friday Finds #writetips #fiction #qotd

  1. Love the quote, Staci, and it’s a good reminder. Whenever I start to doubt myself, I try to remember everything I’ve accomplished to get this far. As proof, I guess, that I can do this whole writing thing. Good for you to take a break on weekends! That tends to be the time I catch up, or try to. And I’m really far behind … then again, the catch-up time should be spent writing, or so my Muse tells me 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think my muse bribed my publisher to get me on the schedule more. I’m running on caffeine and desperation, trying to get everything done. If I don’t reclaim a day or two, I’m going to go crazy! (Well, more crazy, I suppose.)

      We should send our muses on vacation and take a break. Then again, I suspect they’d get into way too much trouble if they were together. And I’d hate to see what they were like when they got back!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post comes as such a relief! I’m a self-doubter and worry that I’m not good enough at the things I do. But the most important message for me is that it’s all right to take time off from the writing process. I don’t have a blog to write and I only have a few friends on facebook but I’ve found the pressure relentless and I realised last week that I felt guilty about taking time off to sit down with a good book, for the first time in ages, and just read for pleasure.
    Staci, you’ve helped me put things in perspective and I’m really grateful to you for it. Enjoy your weekend time and I’m certain you’ll benefit from the re-energising that it brings with it.
    Thanks for all your encouragement, humour and good sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trish, your comment validates my decision and makes me so glad I write these posts. I share these quotes because they mean something to me and I hope to pay it forward and let these words inspire others, too. I’m delighted this quote resonated with you. {Hugs}


  3. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Missed reblogging Staci’s Friday Finds on Friday (more on where I was in another post) but this week’s post is a great one, as usual. Do stop by 1) for the super inspirational weekly quote, and 2) for her terrific list of links to all sorts of good stuff! Please remember to share, thanks, and my personal thanks to Staci for including The Write Stuff in the humor section. LOVE these Friday Finds round-up posts, Staci! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the links, Nicholas. Some I know, but there are many new ones there.
    You are right to limit your blog. I have enough problems trying to blog once a week, every Tuesday, with the occasional post in between.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so hard to keep up with all my friends’ blogs, social media, and all my obligations. Something has to give somewhere, and I think it was going to be my sanity. That’s why I had to take the weekends back.

      Thanks for visiting!


  5. Oh, how I wis we could move past the doubt phase but it seems to be like a shadow that follows book to book, release to release, always hovering just off to the side, Maybe it’s healthy, however, that we do have those moments of doubts because it pushes us to constantly improve and not become complacent.

    As for weekends, you know how I feel about that. I’ve been taking them off for years. Mondays are often rough for me to catch up on everything I’ve missed, but I am all about being internet free from Friday night to Sunday night/Monday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to take the weekend, but when I started this job, I had so much to do, I started a seven day work week. It’s just not sustainable. I suspect I’ll be skipping blog posts and social media rather than catching up, and I feel bad about that, but there are only so many minutes in a day.

      I think you’re right about doubt pushing us to improve. Hopefully we can all find the right percentage—enough to spur us on without being stifling.

      Happy weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you just made a healthy decision to take a break from social media on the weekends. It has been pounded into our heads that we must have a social media presence, but as you said, I too feel like I’m always swimming upstream to try and catch up with everyone’s blogs I follow. All I can say is that I do my best. I’m still on the 7 day work week, but then I don’t have a husband or family to devote my weekends to. Do it and DO NOT feel one bit guilty!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I gave up guilt one year for Lent, and my life’s been better ever since. I tried giving up self-doubt, but I think it’s too much a part of me. I think it’s just as much about my personality as fear that my writing won’t be good enough. I doubted I was doing everything I could when I taught elementary. Always thought I might make some big mistake on any project I worked on. And sometimes, that doubt pushed me to do better, but I still get really sick of it. My husband’s self-confidence is just there. He was born with it. I didn’t get that gene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My husband is the same way. He has enough confidence for both of us. I have the doubt gene and the guilt gene. I’d try giving it up for Lent, but when I failed (and I know I would), I’d just have more guilt over it.


  8. I think the biggest thing with self-doubt is that you’re wearing your heart on your sleeve- whether it’s publishing your book babies or the day-to-day grind of a job- you want people to like what you have to say.
    When i opened my restaurant I had a brilliant cook (the previous owner, actually) but within a couple of months she had to leave because of her knees and I was forced into a position I knew nothing about. It was sink or swim time, and after some (okay lots) of floundering, I found my way. It’s the same with writing, except I go through the sinking feeling with EVERY book!
    Maybe one day I’ll be able to send my work out into the world with confidence, but then again, maybe the self-doubt keeps me on my toes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You can’t work seven days a week without burnout. Glad you are taking weekends off, Staci. Doubt is always there lurking as a writer, but the dream is, too. Great quote for that. I’m trying to get back to the love of writing and the joy it brought me doing it. Even if it means sitting outside daydreaming instead of working that’s what I’m going to do. Enjoy your weekend:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are not alone. Everyone has doubts. Some us are just more apt to share them. I applaud you for not working weekends. We all need to unplug and unwind. I have tried, and it’s hit or miss, to obtain from social media, blog posts, email, etc. on the weekends.

    Relax and enjoy the ride. The work will always be there.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is a fantastic quote that more of us need to take to heart. It’s a good idea to give yourself a break on the weekends. I’ve stepped back myself, but still may tweet some book ads or write the occasional review. Enjoy your weekend, Staci!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Craig Boyack has Doubt the Raven visit at times. It would be wonderful not to have self-doubt but I’m afraid it comes with the territory. I get a doubt visit almost weekly. Mainly it comes from wanting to do better. (Which is a good thing sometimes) Thank you for the link to Twiggy and Lucy. They love you for doing that since they are a little bit self-centered.😁

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I think it’s good to have those boundaries. Mine involves a bright line between the office and my writing career. I have to write on the weekends, but tend to slack off on social media then. I always have struggles with Doubt, but it’s one of those ongoing battles with no clear winner. Sometimes the advantage is mine, sometimes his. As far as goals… I want people to read and enjoy my stories. Some supplemental income when I retire would be nice too.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. My problem with not working weekends is its prime time for productivity. True productivity. Without emails that must be answered, meetings to attend and other office interruptions, I can actually write. Thankfully I don’t mind. It helps me not feel so overwhelmed.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Oh yes. That nagging little visitor named self-doubt. I think we probably all face it at one time or another. (Probably lots of times.) Love the quote by Mark Twain and it’s so true. We should focus on the dream. When I began writing, an instructor gave us the following quote by Van Gogh, “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Insert the word write instead of paint. After all, we’re all creating art.

    And I’m glad you’re taking the weekends off. You need that time of rest.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. This concept of self doubt intrigues me, Staci. I would like to understand exactly what causes the doubt, as I read about it on a lot of blogs; is it fear that no-one will enjoy a book that [you – used generally] have written, or fear of failure or fear of exposing your inner thought to the world. I published my first book into a vacuum because I knew nothing about writing or publishing at the time. I had a story and an idea for the fondant and cake artworks and I found myself a small publisher and we pushed the go button. I never really had any doubts about it and I still don’t. I can’t understand why people do because if you don’t try you can never know or learn or improve.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I suspect it’s different for everyone, Robbie, but I do think it’s rooted in fear. Personally, I always doubt my ability to tell the story I want and fear I’ll either disappoint someone or let someone down. But I’ve always worries about things like that, even as a child. I’m one of those people who wants to always improve and always please. It’s one of the reasons I have trouble telling people no.

      I think it’s great that you have no doubts. That’s very healthy. And probably very freeing!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Friday Finds #writetips #fiction #qotd | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  18. I love this week’s quote, Staci. Like you, I’ve decided to take weekends off as much as possible and have done that for the last few weeks. The hardest thing for me to ‘ignore’ is Twitter because I know I can’t possibly catch up on a whole weekend’s worth of tweets. But I need the down time. If I go online at all, it’s only on my ipad … I have a strict rule that my computer doesn’t get switched on at all until it’s time to work again. Sorry work’s changing on you and fingers crossed it all works out. Sometimes it’s good to have our boundaries stretched … we often realise we’re capable of more than we thought. Best of luck with everything and have a great weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember when I was young. You couldn’t even go shopping on Sundays. Now weekends are hardly different from weekdays. I need to take that time back. Glad you’re trying to do the same.

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m sure work will work out. I’m just tired of change. The older I get, the more I resist it. You’d think by now I’d just embrace it.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I have been giving a lot of thought to actually forgetting I have an office at the weekends, as I am feeling a bit overwhelmed too. That seems to be the major problem with our line of work, once you get the snowball rolling, its a full-time job.

    Liked by 2 people

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