Accomplishment Shuts Down Self-Doubt

Outside, it’s frigid, but inside I’m snuggly warm basking in satisfaction, gratification, and anticipation. Combined, they’re increased confidence, which fuels my enthusiasm. The basic ingredients for all this are trying, doing, and accomplishing.

Last week, I used the new series’ name in my blog post, though I don’t know if anyone noticed. Kovenlore Chronicles. A simple name with considerable consideration behind it.

The individual books? I’d been going to name each one River of… and then have the book’s name. I actually spent a lot of time creating all new titles. When I was done—I despised them. All of them.

I realized I was following advice that wasn’t right for me.

That led to some investigating and discovering there’s no universal approach. I reevaluated because some of the original titles were near and dear to my heart. I didn’t want to lose them.

In truth, only two of the original titles bothered me (Books 4&7), which is what caused me to reconsider in the first place. They were long, clunky, and imposed because of a passage in Book1. Otherwise, and unlike the others, they had little to nothing to do with what occurred in them.

Thus, I reverted back to most of the old titles, but changed the two that didn’t work. I knew it was the right decision because there was relief afterwards. The titles I cherished remained and the two that were a problem were given the names they deserved.

Kovenlore Chronicles Series

The new series. Trellis House is the novella. Creating diagrams, which I find fun, are accomplishments I don’t give myself enough credit for. Diagram: CA Hawthorne

I’m most proud of having recognized the problem was smaller than I’d thought, and that I stood my ground against self-doubt.

That helps build confidence.

Meanwhile, the continuity edit, which required more effort in Book4, is complete through that book. Book 5 will require minimal changes. Books 6 & 7 (plus the novella) are already adjusted, but require their first edits.

From the continuity edit are flowing a host of benefits that are most stark in Book4 (now Buried Remembrances). It wandered because, thought I knew the series’ destination, I didn’t know the road between. Now, because I do, Book4 has instantly gained focus. With little effort, I’ve removed +10K words. The manufactured tension and conflict, especially in the later chapters, has become genuine.

Tremjara 2020A - Labled

Maps are accomplishments I’m too quick to forget about when self-doubt comes to call. ©2020 CA Hawthorne

There are moments when I’m thinking, I can’t believe I did it…

The thing is, I should believe it! I should take credit for doing the work and achieving success. From that flows deserved confidence. Rather than hubris or overconfidence, reasoned self-assurance provides the knowledge that hard work means I can overcome problems.

After all, at their core, changing titles and fixing continuity were problems overcome.

It’s valuable to review accomplishments, to see all the steps you’ve already climbed. Each step was another reason not to doubt your ability to overcome obstacles. Doubt makes us less productive, leading to more self-doubt.

Okay, yes, self-doubt (and low self-esteem) were drilled into me from a young age. That means I must battle it continually.

Battle it I will. I deserve no less.

The titles are a good example. I recognized a problem and self-doubt leaped in to inform me all I’d done should be scrapped. Panic led to ignoring more simple solutions.

Another lesson learned.

Book 4 has a similar history. It’s bloated wandering was a result of my unclear vision. Okay, fine. It was fine, too, that I spent time on Pannulus stories while I was figuring out the series’ direction.

Except, behind the scenes, self-doubt was screaming for me to scrap the entire series. I’m serious. Given that Book 5 was actually written before Book 4, I had five books in a seven book series complete. Scrap it? Give up? It’s scary to think how close I came to doing exactly that.

Instead, there’s an entire series.

Books 6&7 were drafted together and were me overextending my vision a bit. That’s okay. Confidence born of experience will aid me and assure me I can do it. After all, Book 2 was a mess because I was sick while drafting and Book 4, as mentioned, had its own troubles.

Now, when self-doubt asks why I think I can continue?

“I hope you have time because my list of accomplishments is long.”


About Christina Anne Hawthorne

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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