Saturday, March 3, 2012

When Self-Doubt Strikes

If there is one thing that slows down progress, it has to be self-doubt. It can swallow down enthusiasm and leave hopelessness in its wake. I find this as a common malady when I write. I am always viewing my writing with a magnifying glass of self-doubt. It often causes me to give up, leaving unfinished works thrown to the trash, deleted from my computer, and cast out of my mind. I always thought of myself as a good writer, in some circles I may be, in others...probably not so much. But, I have learned, to some degree, to block out this part of my psyche. Whether my writing is good or not, I can still learn from its successes and failures. My advice to writers who suffer from this malady of self-esteem, when it comes to their writing, ignore it. Don't throw away that short-story, that poem, that novel that you made it five chapters into before stumbling and falling off the writing roller coaster. Keep it! Read that work over and over to figure out why it went wrong. What about that document made it unsuccessful? In the future, you will know not to repeat it. It's all a part of the writing process. Use self-doubt as a tool, but don't let it keep you from finishing your project or submitting it for publication. 

Jacob Donley