Becca, in her probing and thinking about writing, and when considering her own self-doubt, which is as much ours, has set us another thought provoking question:
Are you ever assailed with self doubt about your writing ability, or about he reasons for writing at all? Do you “follow yourself around nagging and suggesting and complaining?” What are some of the negative things your (inner) Editor tells you? What could your Editor say to be more encouraging? How do you encourage yourself to keep practicing the craft of writing?
Oh my, oh yes, doubt is there at the most unsuspecting moments, suddenly making you feel so very useless and incapable of writing even a single paragraph that anyone might be interested in reading, let alone a whole story or a book. This inner editor comes up, admonishes you, tells you what absolute rubbish you write about, millions of others can do this so much better, so why do you even bother?
And then, and then. Yes then I think but so what; it’s what I want to do, it gives me enormous satisfaction, it helps me think about relationships, about people and their interactions, and it helps me to see the rest of the world in a different light. Writing helps me understand people, ideas, beliefs, opportunities, choices, the good and the bad and all these things by putting them into words and trying to create a story out of them. And then, someone actually tells you that you’ve written an interesting story, that you’re getting better at it and that helps no end to overcome the doubt.
And sometimes I’m brave enough to tell this inner editor to shut up and go away and let me do what I feel I have to do, write my stories, make sure that they are there in case someone would like to read them or hear about them or finds them interesting. It does not always work. Oh no, and then I am so miserable, for days, sometimes weeks on end and I find all kinds of other things to do, and tell myself I haven’t got the time anyway, so why bother?
But then, then I want to be a painter, who paints with words the things she sees and hears and feels and thinks about, and evoke the smells. So I pick up my notebook again, my head spinning with that next chapter that I must now write. Writing means you have to give yourself time, and it is when there does not seem to be the time that the words come to a stop, and self-doubt comes crashing in again.
My inner editor sometimes tells me that no one in the world is going to be interested in what I have discovered in it; I imagine that the rest of the world will think how banal and silly and badly written my stories are; that other people’s lives are always more fascinating, better expressed, more real, more exhilarating, and then I tell this editor to go away and let me be and I carry on regardless, however unsure and insecure I am. So here I am at long last writing, something that I have tinkered with and around for the whole of my life, and only now do I have the courage to tell ignore this editor as I can do as I please, even if it’s only for me. And if it is bad, so what? Who says?
To overcome all this inner nagging and self-doubt I took the Creative Writing course last year and have learned so much and gained so much in self-confidence. I am no longer worried about letting people know that I write and that it is a passion.
These blogs also help no end!