People will always tell you that you are too old, young, inexperienced and naive to write a novel or write in general. But you can only be a writer if you write. You can read as many theory books as you want to read but they won't make you Austen or Orwell. You must learn from your writing and your mistakes too. And most of all, you learn from understanding compassion and empathy.
That is how you become a good writer.
Self doubt comes in a few different forms. There is internalised self doubt, where the issue is that you feel insecure about your work, or perhaps you don't have a lot of confidence. There is the kind where it comes from other people, perhaps there is someone in your life who doesn't have your best interests at heart and is discouraging you from your dream. And then there is the mix of both, the type where negative comments from the outside effect how you feel on the inside.
1. Let's start with type number one. Internalised self doubt. This is where you might not have a lot of confidence. This is something only you and you alone can change. It's usually a deeply formed foundation of not believing you are good enough. We all need to start looking at the world a little bit differently, if we all view the world as a massive hierarchy, where some are worthy of writing and some of us aren't, then no one would ever write. In reality, their are few who truly feel they are worthy to write. Most humans are alike, all of us have our own insecurities and we shouldn't let those demons stop us from pursuing what we love.
2. Type Two, externalised self doubt. Don't confuse this with someone giving you constructive or critical feedback, we talk about this below. This is about people in your life who don't have your best interests at heart. When you are a creative, you need to surround yourself with positive and encouraging support when it comes to your career. People who when you are feeling hopeless, will hold your hand and tell you to persevere. If you have people in your life who degrade your self confidence, then maybe don't go to them if you need creative support. Nobody, not even Shakespeare could tell you that you're not worthy. Each human in brought onto this planet human, simply put. Nobody is better than anyone else, true some may have more experience, success and acclaim, but nothing tops the value on your human life.
3. Type Three, Internal/External self doubt. Okay this is a funny one. This is where you take negative comments from someone and internalised. Never allow yourself to do this because it can truly be the end of you. Our best advice is if you ask for critical feedback from someone make sure it's someone you trust, make sure it's someone who wants you to do well and has your best interests at heart. Make sure they're honest. There is such a thing as going to the wrong person for feedback, perhaps they'll not be truly honest if they don't feel something fits or perhaps they'll say something in an attempt to try to get you to stop writing. Find someone you trust who is willing to put you and your writing first before their own agenda.
We hope this has helped. Remember that you are good enough to write. Remember that you are never too young or too old. You, as you are, are just right.