It had been such a long time since I’d been hit by the ugly doubt stick, that I was shocked when it happened last week.    There I was, on the train, editing and minding my own business when out of nowhere – BAM! 

To be fair, my morning edit session wasn’t full on doubt, more just disappointment in the form of “hmm, I hadn’t remembered this section being this slow…”.   However a confidence busting experience at work during the day turned that disappointment to full-blown doubt.   It was interesting (I can see that now) to notice how a negative experience at work seemed to feed right into my writing.  Anyhow, by the time I got back on the train in the afternoon, I was in fully fledged “this story is crap” mode.  I was gutted. 

However just before I reached home, I’d moved through the slow section of the work and was working on a more engaging chapter. 

While they’re not solutions to doubt, here’s what I’ve learned about this insipid problem:

*  Like most nasty things, it festers and intensifies in the dark.  So to shine some light on it, I expressed my feelings to my friends at work and my close personal friends. 

* Talking about how I was feeling took the shame out of how crappy I thought my writing was.  

* Doubt’s message is always overstated and catastrophic.  For example,  the few pages of my book that threw me down the shaft the other day were a little slow, but if I listened to my doubt, I’d have believed that the whole book was rubbish and needed to be tossed in the bin. 

* I just have to keep going.


2 responses to “Doubt

  1. Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm with me. If I’m having a crappy day at work (or a crappy day in general for tha matter) it has a tendency to affect my normally positive outlook on my writing.

    Can take up to a day for it to go away, but shorter if I come across something or someone that brightens my mood, no matter how small or large that something may be.

  2. I get it sometimes too. I just put the book down, and walk away and do something completely different for a while, let my brain reset. But it’s horrible when it happens!

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