Battle Your Self-Doubt with 15 Inspirational Quotes

Many creatives, like you, have complicated lives. You work a job, an uncreative one. You have friends and a family. Add a second job, or a holiday, or any of life’s joys and ills…. and you have stress and overwhelm. That’s when Mrs. Darkside whispers negativity in your ear. Battle your self-doubt with these tips and 15 inspirational quotes.

Image is a swirl of rainbow colors with the words Free Your Creativity from Self-Doubt across it

Who Is Mrs. Darkside

Mrs. Darkside is the name I’ve given my inner negative voice. You know, the voice that says you can’t do this. The voice that calls you an imposter or not good enough. The voice that you need to name and combat. 

Give your inner negative voice a name. Names have power, so choose one wisely. Choose a name that exposes the lies of self-doubt. 

Learn to recognize the voice of doubt and call her out on it.

Arm Yourself With Inspiration

A little more than a third of the posts on this blog inspirational and motivational. Why? Because as a creative, one of your worst enemies is your own self-doubt. 

Keep a battle kit in your workspace. It can be a journal, a photo album, a recording, even a digital file. In this kit, keep inspirational and motivational quotes, images, and articles. The ones that speak to you on a deep and personal level. 

When Mrs. Darkside comes to visit next time, whip that battle kit out. See which of your tools helps you battle your self-doubt the most and double down on that type of inspiration. Be victorious. Be the best creative you can be.

Change the World

In this image a violin wrapped with tiny white christmas lights lies on a dark brown surface. Self-doubt is like the dark spaces between the lights.

Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.

Paulo Coelho

Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it who makes a difference.

Nolan Bushnell 

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

Edward DeBono

You Are Enough

There is no such thing as a new idea. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.

Mark Twain

You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.

Anna Quindlen

Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use–do the work you want to see done.

Austin Kleon

Creative thinking–in terms of idea creativity–is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured.

Edward de Bono

The creative person is willing to live with ambiguity. He doesn’t need problems solved immediately and can afford to wait for the right ideas.

Abe Tannenbaum

Choose to Be Alive

Image of a vibrant red and yellow tulip spraying dots of red and yellow color. Choose to be alive and understand that self-doubt is part of the process and nothing more.

But unless we are creators, we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.

Madeleine L’Engle

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

Mary Lou Cook

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.

Neil Gaiman

Be Creative

image is of white knitting needles with cast on stitches in green yarn and a length of knit-pearl stitches resting on a skien of green yarn that rests on a wooden table top. Self-doubt hasn't stopped the knitter.

There’s room for everybody on the planet to be creative and conscious if you are your own person. If you’re trying to be like somebody else, then there isn’t.

Tori Amos

Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach–how you look at things… Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative.


Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.

Rita Mae Brown

There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.

Edward de Bono

Need More Tools?

Search for quotes on this blog. You’ll find hundreds. Or visit the mental health toolkit post. Perhaps you need to remember you and your creativity don’t need to be perfect.

Whatever you do, whichever tools you use to battle your self-doubt, be the best creative you. You and the world will be better for it.

Image Credits

Swirl of Color  Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Violin Image by Tharindu Nanayakkara from Pixabay 

Tulip Image by 165106 from Pixabay 

Knitting Image by Sophie Janotta from Pixabay 

Doing What I Love Takes the Sting Out

Doing what I love takes the sting out. Much of it anyway. Not all. The death of my husband overwhelmed me and impacted what I have accomplished so far this year. It’s been messy. I’ve not met many of my intentions. But tracking what I have accomplished and reporting on it here reminds me of what I have accomplished. Takes the focus off what I haven’t done.

Do what you love, and do it well – that’s much more meaningful than any metric.

Kevin Systrom


Instead of goals or resolutions, I use intentions. You can miss a goal. You probably break most resolutions. But an intention is a focus. When life impedes your plan, take care of that event or disturbance, intending to return to your primary plan. Every morning begins with a renewed intention.


I didn’t finish the revision on my work-in-progress as soon as I had hoped. But I finished the first set of revisions on If I Should Die. The book is out to my Beta Readers. 

Beta readers are voluntary. They understand that this is not a polished draft. They comb the manuscript for inconsistencies, slow pacing, or other story problems. I usually give my beta readers a 3-4 week window to read and get their comments back to me. When I have all their comments, I review the comments. I consider all comments carefully, especially if more than one person made similar comments. After a week of brainstorming how to use those comments to improve the story, I revise the manuscript. 

This is doing what I love. I love writing, but unlike many authors, I also love revisions. It’s exciting and satisfying to shape the story into the best reader experience I can make it.


Busy, busy, busy. Attending the 20Books Conference in Vegas kept me running most of the month. I learned a lot of best practices, tips and tricks and small but significant details of publishing. I’ve spent a large portion of time since my return making plans based on what I learned.

I made calls. Sent emails. And I bought software and tech stuff that will (I hope) improve my productivity and health in this very sedentary life. (More about those later.)

I posted my second blog post on the Writers in the Storm blog. Those posts seemed to increase visits to my blog. 

Posts on my own blog have slowed considerably this month. I planned not to blog while in Vegas, but other days were unplanned misses.

Due to all the extra activities, I also missed most of my virtual write in meetings and my critique group meetings. 


I’m continuing to refine my marketing efforts on Amazon. These efforts have increased impressions received on those ads. Hopefully, more sales will follow.


This area of intentions has also been crazy busy. Cleaning and reorganizing, selling and donating, and strolling down memory lane are a large part of my non-writing time.

Of course, I still enjoy time with my grandson every week. 

Mea culpa. I completely ignored the fact that during the last few years of my husband’s illness and then the pandemic, my poor dogs had only ridden too and from the dreaded vet’s office. SIGH. They have forgotten the joy of riding in the car.


I’ve already blogged about Las Vegas. 

My son and daughter-in-law hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year. I ate too much. And I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed game time with the family. (The toddler made a game of running in and out of the room where we were playing.) It was a low-key affair and just what I needed this year.

What I Learned

Oh my. I could fill a book with what I learned during this month. No, I won’t bore you with the details. However, in the months ahead, you will notice a few changes around here.

This is part of doing what I love. I love to learn new things, try new things, experience new things. Between the pandemic and my grief, I haven’t experienced the lift of doing what I love as much as usual. 

Intentions for Next Month

I could fill a book… Yeah. I bite off way more than I can chew. Unfortunately, as an independent author, there are things that are time sensitive. And many pieces of writing and publishing must happen in a certain order.

Intentions for Making in December include drafting an outline for book 3 in the Fellowship Dystopia Series, revising my website and, at long last, republishing my books with new covers. 

I am hosting on the Writers in the Storm blog this month. 

And besides the two major holidays, I have a trip to Memphis planned, and three birthdays to celebrate. Oh, and the trip means I’m taking short drives with the dogs to help them remember car trips can be fun.

Yup. It’s going to be another busy-bee month. I’ve got big intentions and I know that most of my intentions will extend into 2022.

I am Grateful

It’s the end of November. Thanksgiving is over, but my cup of gratitude is overflowing. I’m grateful to be doing what I love. And my gratitude to my readers, my friends, and my family is unending. You all have enriched my life. Thank you.

What are you most grateful for at the end of this month?

What intentions do you have for next month?

Image Credits

Top Image by 3844328 from  Pixabay 

Middle Photo by Marije Woudsma on Unsplash

Last Photo by Ephraim Mayrena on Unsplash

10 Quotes to Inspire Your Climb

A creative endeavor often feels like climbing a rugged, treacherous mountain. One slip and you’ll fall to your doom. Yet, the analogy has many positives, too. Here are ten quotes to inspire your climb up your creative mountain.

image of a climber on an icy, snowing mountain side. Quotes to inspire your climb if you feel like you're on a slippery slope like this one.

Know Your Why

The summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what matters.

Conrad Anker

There’s no glory in climbing a mountain if all you want to do is to get to the top. It’s experiencing the climb itself – in all its moments of revelation, heartbreak, and fatigue – that has to be the goal.

Karyn Kusama

Don’t Give Up

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Michael Jordan

The climb might be tough and challenging, but the view is worth it. There is a purpose for that pain; you just can’t always see it right away.

Victoria Arlen

Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Silhouette of a rock climber climbing a steep mountain and surrounded by other mountains.

Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.

Barry Finlay

Remove all the Pebbles

It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.

Muhammad Ali

We often generate the pebbles in our shoes to protect ourselves from failure. We say to ourselves that we can’t possibly do this creative thing for so long when we have xyzy going on in our lives. Sometimes those pebbles are real and require our attention. But take the pebble out for ten minutes a day and climb that mountain of creativity inside you.

Try Another Mountain

Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test it’s a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.

Frank Herbert

Sometimes you climb the mountain, and you fall and fail. Maybe there is a different path that will take you up. Sometimes a different mountain.

Caterina Fake

If you are more enthralled with being the creator than doing the creating, you might consider finding another mountain. If you can’t enjoy the climb, find one you can and will. A different mountain isn’t bad. It’s just different. Take joy in that.


It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. Sir Edmund Hilary

Inspiration for your climb, an image of a mountain peak protruding through the clouds, reaching into the blue sky above the clouds.

There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.

Alex Lowe

Find the things you need to inspire your climb up your mountain to your creative destiny. Maybe it won’t be joyful for 100% of the time, but take a moment during those down times. Remember why you climb. Lift your eyes to that summit and climb.

Image Credits:

Top: Ice Climber by Simon from Pixabay 

Middle: Rock Climber by TeeFarm from Pixabay 

Bottom: Mountain top by Fernando50 from Pixabay 

Will You Buy These Books Featuring Indigenous People?

First Line Friday is a series of blog articles posted on the first Friday of every month. The first line of a story, we’re told, must hook the reader. Implied is that the reader will not buy the book if the first line isn’t great. For November, I thought I’d do something a little different and choose first lines from books featuring indigenous people. These entries are from Amazon, my personal library, or other online booksellers. I hope you find something that you’ll want to read.

The cover of Comfrey Wyoming is a graphic representation. It features the silhouettes of a girl with a pony tail pulling a wagon with a dog in it followed by a boy holding the reins of a horse following him. Behind them are graphic representation of mountains

The crisp autumn air provided the oxygen, the old wooden house provided the full, and an extension cord, run over by a vacuum cleaner earlier in the day, provided the spark.

Comfrey Wyoming: Book Two Marcela’s Army Daphne Birkmyer

The Cover of Hunting by Stars, a book featuring Indigenous People, has a view from a shadowy pine forest up into a huge very starry sky

I dreamed about my brother.

In the dream, we were still kids—the same age we were the last time I saw him, gangly and uncoordinated.

Hunting by Stars (A Marrow Thieves Novel) by Cherie Dimaline

Cover of all the Quiet Places,  a book featuring Indigenous People, shows a graphic representation of a lone tree trunk with a jagged top as the rest of the tree was torn off


The sultry weather had been building for days until the air weighed on Eddie’s bed like a damp blanket. 

All The Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac

Cover of Little Moon shows a weathered wagon with sideboards in a field with mountains behind it

1837, Summer, Southeastern Edge of Comanche Territory

The Kane family set forth on a dream, in search of a new home.

Little Moon (The People) Lucas Schmidt

The cover of the Old People has a hemp rope stretched from side to side with a knot in the center. The background is mottled gray and white.

This is how the Old People tie a knot: first, they did  a hole. To keep the knot from slipping or breaking, the hole should be dug in darkness just after the first big flood of the many month when the clouds are thick and the mud is thick and the night is dark enough for digging.

The Old People by J Perry


There are no affiliate links in this post. I don’t make a cent off of the books listed on this page. Usually these titles are pulled at random. They are here for your enjoyment. And to entice you to buy more books.

If you liked those first lines, you’ll put a gigantic smile on my face if you like these lines enough to buy a book:

The giant bronze angel of death loomed over Miranda Clarke’s shoulder.

My Soul to Keep, Book One in the Fellowship Dystopia series by Lynette M. Burrows

This image says Coming Soon! Fellowship has a new look. The image shows a book in white wrapping paper with a bit torn back to reveal the shadow of a man running on a yellow & orange background.


One word and Ian Hobart’s world teetered into not safe.

Fellowship, a Fellowship Dystopia companion novel, by Lynette M. Burrows

Do You Want to Read More?

Did you enjoy this list from books about Indigenous people? Check out previous First Line Fridays  

What makes you want to buy a book?

The cover? The description? The first line?

Please share. 

24 Inspirational Quotes to Spark Your Creativity

Creativity has so many layers and varieties, it is incredibly sad when someone denies being creative. Many times, those “noncreative” people believe that to be creative, one must make art. Sometimes it’s the creative who label themselves as imposters or say they are no-longer-creative. For those who struggle, here are 24 inspirational quotes to spark your creativity.

On one half of a gray background is the silhouette of man's head with colorful sparks in his brain area. And the words Spark Your Imagination.

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun

Mary Lou Cook


You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.

Alan Alda

Cooking for people is an enormously significant expression of generosity and soulfulness, and entertaining is a way to be both generous and creative.

Ted Allen
Photograph of a toddler using big crayons to scribble on a piece of paper. He's unconcerned with whtat he's making  and is just creating.

Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.

Pablo Picasso

Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better.

John Updike

At its heart, engineering is about using science to find creative, practical solutions.

Queen Elizabeth

Your life is your canvas, and you are the masterpiece. There are a million ways to be kind, amazing, fabulous, creative, bold, and interesting.



Ideas come from everything.

Alfred Hitchcock

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve Jobs

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Scott Adams

Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.

Austin Kleon

It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.

Jean-Luc Godard

Inspiration comes during work, not before it.

Madeline L’Engle


Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Dr. Seuss

Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.

Edward de Bono

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity.

Brené Brown

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

E. E. Cummings

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!

Dr. Seuss

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.

Neil Gaiman

Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.

Victor Pinchuk

Final Words to Spark Your Creativity

Still struggling to get that spark? Read 13 Ways to Be Creative When You Feel Unimaginative.

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

Andy Warhol

If these 24 Inspirational Quotes to Spark Your Creativity don’t inspire try using the quotes as an exercise. Write a quote at the top of a page (actual or digital) then take fifteen minutes and jot down what that quote makes you think about. Oh, the thinks you can think up… Did you try? Add your favorite inspiring creativity quote in the comments. Or tell us a little about what you’re creating.