I’m studying Rocky for an upcoming episode of the podcast.

Although Stallone wrote the script, the studio didn’t want him for the part; his voice was too low, his eyes were too droopy and he was too short. He knew what he could bring to the role though, so he tuned out the negative voices around him, and prevailed. The rest, as they say, is history.

Novelists deal with external critics too. This is an art form; criticism is inevitable. I don’t spend any time worrying about that.

The internal critic is a different beast entirely. It’s far more sinister and more powerful. If we don’t think we’re worthy, if we don’t believe in our ability, our careers are dead in the water.

Imagine if Sly had believed the studio executives.

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women