Setting Self-Doubt on Fire: Sarra Cannon’s NaNoWriMo Diaries

 Name of column: Setting Self-Doubt on Fire


Name of Miniseries: Improve Your Writing Skills with AuthorTube


Post Title: Sarra Cannon’s NaNoWriMo Diaries


Hi all, I have a new ‘Improve Your Writing Skills with AuthorTube’ miniseries post for you today.


If you want to know more about this new miniseries, you can read my ‘Setting Self-Doubt on Fire – AuthorTube – Learn How to Describe Emotion’ post. 


So, let’s look at the third video in this series: The NaNoWriMo Diaries by Heart Breathings (Sarra Cannon’s YouTube channel), see the playlist below.


Heart Breathings is a YouTube channel by the indie author Sarra Cannon. Sarra writes YA and New Adult contemporary and paranormal fiction, and she is the author of the popular Shadow Demons Saga series — I love this series. 


Sarra started her Heart Breathings channel in 2018 to help writers to create a writing career they love. So far, her channel has 245 videos, but the ones I want to focus on today are her NaNoWriMo Diaries.


Now, these videos don’t show you how to improve your writing skills, but I feel they have an important message for us writers. And, it shows us that even a successful author can be controlled by fear, but that doesn’t stop them from living their dream life. 


The diaries start well, and Sarra is excited about reaching her goals of writing 50,000 words of her book Witch’s Door and editing and publishing the final book in her Eternal Sorrows trilogy. But things soon start going wrong, and no matter how many hours she worked (and she worked hard) she wasn’t able to reach her goal. This was a devastating blow to Sarra, but she learned many lessons: 


  • The muse always wins — a story needs to be written the way it needs to be written. You can’t force it into being something it isn’t. 
  • Never make decisions based on fear. 
  • A missed deadline is better than publishing a book that isn’t the best of your ability.
  • Life not going to plan can sometimes be an unexpected gift. 
  • Sometimes failure is an important life lesson. 
  • The only way you fail is if you give up on yourself. (I want you to read this three times)


So, these aren’t tips on how to improve your writing, but they are all important lessons that we need to learn to help us with our writing journey. 

Before I go, I’ll like to let you know that I have a new Christmas horror flash fiction collection out called Merry Dreadmas that is available to download as an e-book and an audiobook for FREE.  

And, if you struggle with self-doubt and you want to be part of a group where writers can share their fears, motivate each other and offer support, then join my ‘Setting Self-Doubt on Fire Squad’ group. 

Okay, that’s all I have for you today. Stay safe, everyone. And have a Merry Dreadmas … I mean Christmas. 


“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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Nicole Simms

Nicole J. Simms is a UK horror, crime and fantasy writer. However, she is open to writing in other genres. Her stories have been published in anthologies, in magazines and on websites. In 2016, she won the Nine Voices’ 50-Word Halloween Competition with her story ‘Meeting the Parents’. And, her self-published e-book The Book of Drabbles is now available to download for free. She is also the deputy leader of the Oldbury Writing Group, a West Midlands based writing group. They have published a WW2 anthology together titled From Sunrise to Sunset, and they are now working on their second anthology. Stephen King, Sharon Bolton, J. K. Rowling, R. L. Stine and Kelley Armstrong are some of her favourite authors. And, when she’s not writing, she loves to bake, paint, knit and go on nature walks. Find out more at: Website - Facebook link - Twitter link - Goodreads link -

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