Monday, September 12, 2011
A Little Thing Called Doubt
Sometimes I feel like I want to give up. Which sounds stupid because I tell people not to all the time. Especially on my blog. I can't help feeling that way sometimes though. It's only natural to have that sneaky feeling called doubt creep in. Usually when you're already feeling down. He finds his way in, making you doubt your writing. Making you doubt everything you've worked for and makes you second guess if you really should be writing anything at all.
I hate those days. The days that I read over my WIP and realize I suck. That I won't get published in a million years. I always think to myself, "Why? Why am I doing this? There are so many people out there that are better than me."
And the truth is, there are. There are so many great writers in this business. How could I ever compare to them?
I had a doozy of a week last week. Nothing specific happened to make me doubt myself, but I did just the same. I was stuck at home, sick with a stupid cough, laryngitis and pink eye in both eyes. In other words, I was feeling a little down. And then the doubt crept in. Crushing, horrible doubt that made me want to throw in the towel and stop writing all together. I don't think I've ever been that bad. But I was. As I think about last week though, I've realized what my problem is.
I cannot compare myself to other writers.
I can't compare myself to them because I'm NOT them. I'm not someone else. I don't write like anyone else. I don't have the same journey as someone else. We are all unique. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Their own struggles of self doubt. I'm sure even published authors go through this. I'm positive that they do. This business is tough. Everyone's path to publication is tough. Even if it doesn't seem like it. There are so many things that go on behind the scenes, that we have no idea what everyone else has gone through to get their book on the shelves. Everyone goes through tough things. Whether it's finding the right agent, being on submission for years and not selling a book, going through rounds of brutal edits that make you want to tear out your hair. Shelving a WIP you've worked your tail off on. It's hard.
Everyone has their own journey. And I'm starting to realize that if I'm in this for the long haul, I have to accept my own.
So, no more doubting. I have to believe in myself. I have to write more books. I have to hang on to you dear writing friends of mine and know that we have to help each other through the doubt. Through the pain of seeing others succeed and thinking we never will. We will succeed someday. We can do this. No matter where you are in your journey. We can do this.
How do you handle the doubt and discouragement when it comes to your own writing?