Dear I Have Notes,

I look forward to getting your newsletter in my inbox—it’s been a boon to my writing life. I have a question I’d like to ask you: How do you cope when your writing doesn’t match your ambitions? I often feel like my skill isn’t up to the task of telling the stories I have inside me. This actually keeps me from writing sometimes. Maybe it’s impostor syndrome, because I will read writers I admire and compare myself unfavorably to them. Intellectually, I know that the only way to improve is to keep writing and working on my craft, but it can be difficult to push through that feeling.

— Trying to Write Fiction

Dear Trying,

If you can, I think it’s worth being more specific about your creative ambitions. Considering the outcomes you crave and why they are important to you in greater detail might help you better assess whether they are truly outpacing your skills, or more closely aligned with them than you thought.

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