What questions are swirling in your head right now?

Life is a series of questions, leading to more questions.

What am I doing—and why?

Will this work?

Can I pull this off?

What if I’m doing it all wrong?

In our success-driven culture, we’re expected to have the answers. Or to fake it ‘til we make it.

But what if we openly admit we’re not quite sure…we have doubts…constantly…about almost everything?

You may be hugely successful, an expert in your field, top of your game…and still…

You wonder… What if I…? Should I have…? Can I do better next time?

Welcome to doubt monster

A compassionate, nonjudgmental space that gives us all room to voice our doubts, even if we’re incredibly good at what we do. Even if we wake up each day, loaded with confidence. Even if we are at peak competence.

Or not—which is absolutely okay.

In this space, questions take precedence over answers. Questioning—the act itself—is treated as a healthy, productive norm.

And in this space, I want your voice to register, whether that’s baring your soul or confessing to a teeny, tiny little doubt that’s holding you back.

(See my note to paid subscribers below.)

Why is this my thing?

It’s taken me over half a century to figure out that my doubts about everything are not going away—but that I have the tools to live with doubt and forge ahead, bravely and with purpose.

As a writer and book coach who works with and supports other writers and creative types (including people in business, science, etc.), I’ve heard countless confessions of doubt.

I finally realized (a) I’m not alone as a doubter. And (b) it’s not healthy to sweep these feelings under the rug.

So I wrote Wrangling the Doubt Monster: Fighting Fears, Finding Inspiration (Bancroft Press, 2024) as a way to inspire myself and others to accommodate doubt, to live with it without allowing it to control us. Naturally, I don’t have “the” answers; but I do try to put into words our collective response to doubt’s impact on the soul and the psyche.

“I am even more certain that to create dangerously is also to create fearlessly, boldly embracing the public and private terrors that would silence us, then bravely moving forward even when it feels as though we are chasing or being chased by ghosts.”

—Edwidge Danticat

A note to paid subscribers

My offer to you is not more words, but deeds. You are entitled to two free book-coaching sessions with me per year (a value worth hundreds of dollars), which you may use to:

  • obtain feedback on a nonfiction book proposal or fiction query package

  • brainstorm a way forward for your book idea

  • explore and identify your likeliest path to getting published

  • feedback on the first few chapters of your manuscript

  • something else that’s important to you, related to your writing and/or publishing goals.

Simply email me to set this up: info@wordfirstbookcoach.com

Subscribe to Doubt Monster

We wrangle openly and unapologetically with the doubt monsters that hold us back and explore how we can and should make our art. Come here to drop your burdens.


I write stories that let readers feel while making them think. My forthcoming book is Wrangling the Doubt Monster: Fighting Fears, Finding Inspiration. Once I was a journalist, then a speechwriter, now an author, writing instructor, and book coach.