Tell me if any of this sounds familiar to you:
“What were you thinking? You can’t write!”
“Who wrote this sh*t? Oh, yeah, you did.”
“Why bother? It’s not any good, no one would publish it.”
“You’re an idiot if you think anyone would bother to read this. You can’t compare to (insert writer’s name here) so why are you trying?”
Tip of the iceberg in relation to the annoying voice in the back of our head trying to sabotage us. Sometimes it’s a buzzing in our ear, other times it’s a big booming voice that sends us to our knees in tears.
I tell ya, us creative types are so damn sensitive! We’re internal drama queens and we never really utter it out loud because we don’t want the people who love us to rise up in an attempt to drown a voice that likes to sneak in at night between the cusp of sleep.
The true metal of a writer can be found in the reaction to that voice (anyone have a muzzle handy?) when it goes from a buzzing to drowning out all reason. It’s not easy to stand up and say in return. “Yes, you may be right in all the above categories, but I’m still going to write. I’m still going to keep going. Why? Because it’s who I am.”
Sometimes, we have to yell it several hundred times each time it pops back up. The key, and this is the true lesson, is to keep moving forward. To accept each stumble, trip, scraped knee as part of the writing life.
It’s not easy. Sweet mother, is it not easy to fight that damn voice with your own counter arguments. What matters is that we get back up, keep pushing ourselves to continue. I have no words of wisdom as to how to fight it as I have found that each person has their own armor against it. Sometimes it’s strong, other times it is week. Where you find that armor will also be different than where I find mine. Hell, I’ll even admit to the fact that sometimes no matter how hard I try, the armor still cracks under the pressure.
The important part is that I don’t stop. I can’t stop, but that’s another matter entirely. While the voice may be strong with the dark side of the force at times, I know that it’s my own insecurities talking… usually. The exception is the really bad stories that, when you go back and read it you say “What the hell is this? I know I didn’t write it, must be Self who did it. SELF!”
Beyond that though, it’s about pushing yourself forward. So in spirit of that, I leave you with this rather amusing little ditty.
- The Madness of Self-Doubt: A Guest Blog Post by Mariah Wilson (amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com)
- What Every Writer Should Know (writecity.wordpress.com)
- Thinking about self-doubt (naomijjohnson.wordpress.com)