Managing doubt

narelle-thumb12I’m not writing, I’m not editing and I’m definitely not querying. 

I knew I was blocked but why?  This past weekend during an e-mail conversation with my blog sistas I found the culprit.

SELF DOUBT. 

Boring, pedestrian and overdone I know, but unfortunately very real and true for me. 

At some point, this insidious weed has taken hold of my creativity, my drive and my courage and strangled them into submission.

I’m going to share some of my private conversations in the hope that it will help others recognise self-doubt. 

Creativity: Let’s go do some editing.

Self Doubt:  It’s too hard.

Creativity:  Ok, let’s go write a blog entry then.

Self Doubt:  What are you going to blog about?  You haven’t done anything that resembles writing lately. 

Creativity: *Feels slightly panicked*

Self Doubt: Let’s wait til we’re ‘working’ again or until we have a publisher….or at least an agent.  Agent/publisher/published – that’s the only way to be sure that you have anything worth listening to and that your writing is any good. 

Creativity: Are you saying my writing might not any good?

Self Doubt:  Your writing is unsophisticated and really isn’t all that good.  I didn’t want to be the one to tell you but I think it’s my job.

Creativity:  Oh no.  I was afraid of that.

Self Doubt:   I Know.  *Raises eyebrows and pulls lips into a thin line*

Creativity: I can’t believe I ever thought I could be good at this.  How embarrassing…I’m so disappointed.  For a while there I really thought this writing thing was for me.  *sigh*.

Self Doubt: Lots of people think that – it never works out.  Don’t worry though, I’ll always be here with you.  Hey, let’s go and see what other people are doing on Facebook and then we can lay on the lounge and watch TV.             ….and we need to have a chat about your hair…..

Creativity: *Swallows lump in her throat, lowers her head and follows Self Doubt to Facebook*.

This conversation happens hundreds of times in hundreds of different ways but inevitably ends in me trawling through E-Bay looking for some item that will make all the difference (…difference to what, i’m not sure), or logging onto Facebook or laying down on the lounge watching TV. 

I know that this sounds like an obvious case of self-doubt when it’s written here in black and white but at the time the assertions made by my self-doubt sound reasonable and completely credible.  

It makes me want to scream. 

I’m not saying that this post will cure my self-doubt.  But awareness and acceptance will probably be the first steps in overriding it.

I wonder if any of you can relate or share tips for overcoming this type of doubt?

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2 responses to “Managing doubt

  1. Can completely relate. I sort of go through it on a daily basis whenever I visit the chat rooms, or just simply read other people’s blogs .

    Sometimes it takes hold and stays awhile, sometimes it just passes through. No matter how long it stays, I try to work my way through it.

    If my self doubt says my writing isn’t good enough, I think about my blog and the amount of visitors I receive. Surely someone thinks my writing is good because they come back time and again to read what I post. I also think about the one story that impressed a publisher enough to take a chance on.

    No matter what, I still write. Either on the computer or by hand, as long as I’m putting words to paper/screen, there isn’t nothing that can stop me.

  2. Thanks for your comment G. You’re so right about ‘as long as I’m putting words on paper’. I guess it’s about persisting – which may mean dragging self doubt along for the ride.

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