Today I read Paste Magazine's discussion of their #1 album of 2014: The War on Drugs' Lost in the Dream. What strikes me most about this article is the discussion of Adam Granduciel's self-doubt and anxiety after the release of Slave Ambient in 2011. "Was the band going anywhere? Were they connecting with anybody? Was this what he should be doing with his life? Was he contributing anything of note to the canon?"
As a writer, I feel like I constantly wrestle with self-doubt, the sense that I'm talking to nobody (haha), that I'll never write as well as I want to, that I could be contributing more to the world if I did something else, digging composting toilets, say. But I never imagined that anyone as talented as Adam Granduciel would feel that way, especially after the release of an album that is so unique and wonderful.
I think, as artists, self-doubt must just be a part of the puzzle of our lives, something that never really goes away, no matter how successful we are. I'd like to try to be more openly grateful to the artists whose work I admire, and I'd also like to try to take rejection more gracefully. Perhaps the person who beat me for that fellowship or that contest needed it more than I did, was closer to putting the pen down instead of acknowledging the rejection, the loneliness, the seeming futility, and gritting her teeth and pressing on.