One thing you'll find out about me quickly is that I'm always very honest in my posts. I don't mind sharing when I stumble in my writing or when I get an incredibly painful rejection. It's all part of the process of learning and growing and perfecting your craft. While I can admit my failures in the process, one of the hardest things to endure is the self-doubt.
You work tirelessly on a manuscript, or short story, only to send it to a trusted CP and find out it's junk. Too much passive voice, not enough showing, slow pacing, etc. It's easy to get down when these things happen. Convince yourself to throw in the towel on the whole writing gig.
Every writer has been through this, even New York Times Bestsellers. It is the nature of the beast. But the key is to not get bogged down in the doubt. Allow it to swallow all the hard work you've done.
When I start feeling discouraged about my writing, I find these three things always give me perspective on my work and help me refocus:
1) Stepping Back
Many times we are way too close to our material, and are unable to see its flaws because we are so in love with the characters, setting, plot etc. I have a completed manuscript that needs MAJOR revisions. The story is one of the best things I've ever written, and I'm crushed I have to rip it apart. So you know what I'm doing? Not touching it for a month. I'm going to let the feedback from agents and CPs sink in. Once I've gotten enough emotional distance, I'm going to tear it to shreds and make it a thousand times better.
When I start doubting my work, I go back and reread my favorite authors. I pour over certain passages, or diagram a plot, just to get back to the basics of writing. As soon as I'm done devouring the book, I feel rejuvenated and ready to write again.
3) Talking to other writers
Hey, let's face it – misery loves company. Talking to other writers who are going through the same thing makes you feel less alone in the process. Writing can be a very solitary thing, but it doesn't have to be. Reach out to buddies on Facebook or Twitter and ask about their process. I guarantee it will make you reconsider your situation, and give you fresh ideas on how to tackle an issue you're having with your own project.
In the end, there is no hard and fast way to get over self-doubt. It is that one sucky part about being a creative being that we have to get over. The key is to NOT let it consume you. Work through it in any way you're comfortable. And then, get your butt back in the chair and write. You'll be surprised by how much better it will make you feel!