3 Harmful Beliefs To Overcome as a Writer

writer harmful beliefs

Have you heard of the concept of a limiting belief?

It’s exactly as it sounds. Often, we are held back by our own thoughts. The mental prison we find ourselves in is of our own making. We stop ourselves from achieving our own potential, often without realizing we are the ones to blame.

I think writers are particularly prone to this. Often, we are thoughtful people with active minds. This is a blessing and a curse. The same mind that allows us to create our work can hinder us from reaching our full potential. 

Almost every writer I’ve spoken to has experienced one or more of the following limiting beliefs. In an effort to help you smash through your limitations, I’d love to share my tips on overcoming them. 

I’m Not Good Enough To Write

Is there a writer alive who hasn’t experienced serious levels of doubt?

If there is, I’ve yet to meet them! 

It’s common to doubt your ability as a writer. Don’t think only aspiring or lesser-known talent are affected by this. Even the biggest and best writers out there question themselves from time to time. 

If you find yourself slipping into a spiral of doubt, what exactly can you do about it?

  • Accept. Our thoughts are most harmful when we resist them. Instead of freaking out, try and be at peace with the fact you are experiencing some doubt.
  • Challenge. Have you ever had someone praise your writing? Recall those times. Thinking factually can challenge your doubting irrationality.
  • Act. The worst thing we can do is ruminate. Instead, set a course of action. Brush up on your skills. Set yourself a writing challenge. Or even just indulge in self-care until you’re in a more positive state of mind. 

You’re almost certainly going to doubt your own abilities from time to time. Accepting that, and putting a plan in place to deal with it, will stop it from holding you back too much.  

My Life Is Too Busy To Achieve Writing Success

These days, the vast majority of us fit in our creative writing work alongside other responsibilities.


A day job. Kids. Health issues. 

No matter what it happens to be, there is probably something stopping you from writing as much as you would in an ideal world.

Sometimes, we can go from being frustrated about not writing often enough, to throwing the towel in completely. If we can’t write as much as we want to, why write at all?

While understandable, this view is mistaken. Here’s what to do instead.

  • Be Positive. Some writing time is still better than none. It might be a bit of a cliche, but try and see the glass as half full.
  • Find Time. Often, we aren’t aware of how much time we spend on certain things. Track your time for a while, and you might discover ways to write more often.
  • Prioritize. It’s a tired phrase, but we all have 24 hours in the day. Could you sleep for half an hour less each day? That would get you over 180 extra writing hours a year!

We all wish we could write more often. Instead of focusing on that, seek out ways to carve more time to write, and feel gratitude for having any at all. 

If I Behave Unethically, I Can Get Ahead

Have you ever been tempted to cut corners? To go against your values? 


For modern writers, temptation is everywhere. Plagiarism. Fake reviews. Writing about unethical subjects.

Although temptation is inevitable, succumbing to it isn’t. So what can you do when this limiting belief occurs?

  • Draw Strength. The urge to behave unethically often occurs in moments of weakness. Do what you need to do to feel strong, and you’ll often be less tempted to behave immorally. 
  • Surround Yourself With The Right People. Often, we take cues from the people around us. Choose your writing company carefully. Being around ethical writers will help you to be one yourself. 
  • Reframe. Reframe your idea of unethical behavior not as something that will bring success, but something that will bring failure. This is almost always true. Shortcuts might work briefly, but if you build your house on sand, it will come crashing down one day. 

Some Final Reflections

Thank you so much for taking the time to check out these ideas on overcoming your limiting beliefs as a writer. I sincerely help at least one idea will serve you at some point in the future.

Remember to believe in yourself, to make the most of the time you have, and to always behave in a way which honors your values. 

I’d love to get your take. Please leave a comment. Which beliefs do you struggle with? What do you do to overcome them?

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