I had another post planned for today but when I saw what Narelle had posted this week about doubt and how it kept her from writing, I had to scrap it. I think doubt is the biggest enemy we all face as writers whether we write fiction or non-fiction, whether we’ve had our books published or are just starting to write at all.
Doubt creeps in so easily, you don’t even notice it until you realize you haven’t written in a while. Then as Narellle did, you have to sit and think about why. Now if you and the kids have all had the flu and the washing is piling up and you don’t actually remember seeing your husband this week, though you must have connected in there somewhere between your job and his, you know why you’re not writing. That’s life. And chores and responsiblities will call your name. But if you think everything you’re writing is claptrap, and the world doesn’t particularly need another writer out there, and who are you to think you can write, anyway;that is just doubt, pure and simple.
The thing for me is not whether I think I’m the best writer out there–I know for sure I’m not. The deal is whether I think what I’m writing needs to be written. One woman I know knows her mysteries are needed because she has run out of stuff she likes to read. That works for her.
I know my stuff needs to be written, in part because domestic violence awareness is important to me. And it’s something I know about that a lot of people either don’t know, or haven’t much thought about. And if I don’t write it, who will?
I write in mystery format, because no one wants to be preached to yet most people don’t mind learning a few things along the way to being entertained.
I write because I feel better on the days I write than I do on the days I don’t. Even if all I write is this blog.
It’s not that I don’t feel the doubt. I do. It’s there when I’m writing, when I’m promoting, when I’m talking to a new writer who wants some tips. I mean, who am I to do this stuff?
But if I let the doubt silence me, who will speak up?