I am participating in the Writing Contest: Writers Crushing Doubt. Hosted by Positive Writer.
I looked up the definition of doubt. A feeling of uncertainty.
I have that in spades.
Not just about writing. I have doubts everyday about decisions, my career, the economy, my goals, investing – but yet I persist on these every single day and so does everyone else wanting to eke out a living.
So what’s so different about crushing writer’s doubt?
I guess there’s something about putting our thoughts into words and honestly expressing our innermost musings that feels as if we are revealing our inner souls.
It’s also because the act of publishing (whether in book form, electronic, on a blog or social media) is so public.
We don’t usually reveal how much we earn, the wealth we have and the lessons learnt from wrong decisions to the world at large. I guess that’s why we push through our other doubts – we are only responsible to ourselves.
However, I think that we also owe ourselves the obligation to share our thoughts and writing to the world.
Who cares what everyone else thinks?
If we keep our creative endeavours hidden, it slowly eats away at our insides, feeding the doubt until it turns into the one thing we fear – regret.
I am writing a little bit each day because I am afraid that one day I will wake up and I am old with regrets. That all my dreams have dissolved into emptiness just because I didn’t work hard enough to make it into a reality.
I use this fear to spur me on one day at a time.
I realize that just by starting, by trying, my brain works in overtime. A tiny spark of creativity germinates and sprouts into offshoots. I can’t keep up with the ideas as they rocket off the initial first step.
I crush writer’s doubt just be starting. Lao Tzu said that: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. So I put my figurative shoes on and take that one little step, the same way Neil Armstrong took that first step on the moon back in 1969.
Every minute we talk to someone: a colleague, a friend, a stranger on the bus – we are reaching inside ourselves to tell a story. I crush writer’s doubt by pretending that I am communicating to one person at a time.
I tell myself that I have an advantage.
Instead of babbling out the first thing that comes out of my mind, I now have a filter to shape my thoughts and to edit my communication and story. When I press that publish button, I know that I have at least vetted my words once.
If my writing doesn’t work out, that’s fine. Practice makes perfect. The best thing about writing is that it is not finite. There is no cease and desist button. If we make a mistake, we can always improve and create stronger, better work.
So that’s how I overcome my writer’s doubt. One day at a time.