Self Doubt

December 23, 2009 at 2:14 AM | Posted in Life, Writing, Writing Advice | 3 Comments

I usually don’t blog on Tuesdays aside from the teasers, but I’m not writing either, so I figure, why not, right? I’m sitting in my friend’s room, blasting music, and staring at a scene chart that was going so well until recently. I’ve been staring at this scene chart for the past two days. I’ve been trying to restart The Scion for the past two weeks. Up until a couple of minutes ago I had no idea what my deal was.

Then it hit me: I’ve been slumming in the ghetto of self doubt. -faints in shock-

I’m not one to doubt my writing abilities – and I don’t say that to sound braggish or pompous. But I’ve always firmly avoided self doubt because it’s crippling. It’s so crippling, in fact, that some writers become drug addicts and alcoholics to drown it out. So I block it out, and just write until I send my work to betas. Then they send me comments and I improve my work,  because I know it’s in me to make the work better.

And while this isn’t the first time I’ve been hit with self doubt, it’s the first time its been so insidious. It took me two weeks to figure out that it was burrowing its way into my skull and blocking the Muse and the Voices. But now that I know? Now I can fight it, now I can do breathing exercises and now I can look into the mirror and do corny self confidence exercises. Because, self doubt is a writer’s worse enemy. Too many commas is fixable. Too many adverbs is fixable. Run on sentences are fixable. Not having faith and trust in your own ability to not only write well, but improve (always improve) is something that will stop you in your tracks. It makes a difficult occupation nearly unbearable.

So do what you have to. Listen to self esteem cassettes, sing your own praises, have lengthy conversations with yourself. But whatever you do – never,  ever lose faith in your ability to write well and to improve what you may not have written so well!

contributed by sumayyah daud and cross posted to the raven desk



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  1. Oh good, I’m not the only one who does corny self confidence exercises!

  2. Great post!

    This is exactly what I needed right now. I have this awful self-doubt that keeps me from writing and I think I’m finally starting to learn how to battle it. Cause the most important thing is that you write, even if you’re sure you suck.

    And you’re right, writers can always improve and fix things–that’s one of the best parts of writing :)

  3. That really is true. My self-doubt in my writing is stabbing my insides and smashing my confidence to tiny bits. I haven’t known what to do until now. I’ll try those exercises you metioned, thank you. I’m so sick of not writing in so long. See ya later, self-doubt!

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