DOES SELF-DOUBT EVER GO AWAY?
A writer asked:
"Whenever I need writing advice or I start to doubt myself I always find that I come to you. I read your blog and it makes me feel better about whatever problem I'm having. I'm a writer and I'm almost ready for my second book to be edited. I've had two people beta read for me so far who've said they though the sequel was good. When I wrote my first book, as it got closer to being edited and self published, I became very doubtful of my story. I started to think it was awful and really dumb. So far I have received really nice reviews and feedback from it. But now, with the second one almost ready I have that doubtful feeling again. I'm not sure if it's just me being nervous or what. Have you ever had this feeling? Do you have any advice to get past it? Thank you so much!"
"I feel like this all the time. Every time I finish writing a draft, I think, "This story is dumb. It’s so dumb! Why did I write it?” But the more I write, the more I notice that this feeling of doubt is fading. So I think the only way to get past it is to acknowledge that it’s there, and keep writing anyway, knowing that it will fade in the future. Unfortunately, I don't think it ever goes away. Instead, you get used to it and are not scared of it anymore. You calmly acknowledge it and keep writing.
We all doubt ourselves. Always.
We're all the same.
There is always this trepidation. "Will they like my story? Will they understand it? Did I write complete nonsense? Will they think me an idiot? Is it too dramatic? Too sentimental? Too descriptive?" And on and on it goes. It never stops, really.
I found a curious thing that helps me with this. I stole it from meditating. I look at these doubting thoughts as just that, thoughts. They come and go. They are not real threats. They are not part of who I am. They have no authority over me and over what I want to do. And what I want to do is write. My job is focusing on my stories, not on my doubts. So I brush them aside. Sure, some days are better than others, some are worse. Some days I feel so low, I'm afraid I will never amount to anything and I start doubting every book I have written so far, especially my first trilogy. I have this impulse to pull it off the shelves everywhere and hide it. It's my first and I now clearly see its shortcomings and I want to fix them. Then I remember that I shouldn't. That trilogy reflects me as I was at that time. It should remain so."
Full post here.
Darling writers, what do you say? Do you still doubt yourself? Do you think it ever goes away?