How to Combat Your Doubt Demons While Writing Your Memoir or Book

I'm nearing the home stretch with my revision of THE ONLY WAY THROUGH IS OUT, my later in life, coming out memoir, which will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in February 2024!


I'm celebrating my good fortune and hard work!

But something less pleasant is also happening as I near the end of this journey.

The doubt demons are whispering in my ear again:

Your writing sucks.

You are really going to expose ALL this to the world?

Sure, you got a book deal but no one's going to buy your book except for your family and close friends. Because they have to.

You spent how many years of your life on what?

Here's what I do when the doubt demons creep in:

I come back to my WHY. 

WHY am I writing this story in the first place? Why THIS story? Why me? Why now?

The same questions I ask my memoir clients.

Like many memoir writers, I started writing my story because I felt like I had no other choice. I started writing first for ME—to make sense of a very confusing and difficult time.

And as I wrote my story about coming out later in life, my deeper why for writing emerged and kept me going when I wanted to give up.

When I:

  • Felt like I was writing in circles.
  • Worried that no one would care.
  • Was afraid that my writing—and my life—would be judged.

When NO was the only response I received to my query letters.

My deep why for writing THE ONLY WAY THROUGH IS OUT is this:

Hidden inside metaphorical closets in every corner of this country are throngs of people longing to live more authentically.

LGBTQ+ folx crushed by oppressive religious institutions; women at midlife who have deferred their own dreams; empty nesters who have stayed in unhappy marriages “for the kids”—all desperate to feel alive but terrified to leave the safety of the known.

All recognizing they have one "wild and precious life” but asking if the cost of being themselves is too high.

I’m writing my story for these readers. 

And if you're someone who needs to read a story about someone who was desperate to feel alive—and terrified too—I’m writing my story for YOU.

Knowing your WHY for writing keeps you focused and keeps you going when doubt & fear creep in.

You can’t make doubt and fear disappear … they're part of the process.

But when you know your deep why—and who you're writing for—it’s a bit easier to tell the doubt demons and fears that they can come along for the ride but they aren’t driving the car. You are.

Your story MATTERS. Write it!


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