Writers, writing and self-doubt will at some point along the writing journey and often early on that journey collide with seismic proportions.
There is a huge difference in my mind between the phrases “writer’s block” and “self-doubt.” We may have the self-confidence to put “pen to paper,” but are at a bit of a roadblock on what to write. Self-doubt in many respects is the opposite of that. Plenty to say, but lacking the confidence to press “publish.”
Dr. Tanya gives us a bit of pre-amble to writer’s self-doubt.
Self Doubt is an affliction that affects writers nearly as often as writer’s bock. You might have seen those stereotypical pictures: an author sits at his desk, writing feverishly. All around him on the floor, are crumpled and screwed up sheets of paper. Or he might have been fastidious and then you will see a huge bin overflowing with crumpled up sheets of drafts and revisions.
For the 21st century writer, the picture is a little different. You either keep editing or re-writing the same piece of work on your device or you hit delete and create a new document altogether. Whatever your modus operandi, the worm of doubt can cast a shadow on your best creation. Today’s Blogging Insights is about this fear/doubt/lack of confidence that attacks writers from time to time.
How often are you afflicted by self-doubt and what do you do about it?
For the most part, self-doubt hasn’t been that much of an issue at this stage of my writing journey.
Almost every piece that I write, may sit for a day or so as part of an editing process. Coming back to a post after 24 hours always gives me a fresher look at it.
What is both good and bad, is that I can get “worked-up” on a topic. Off I go and write a post that allows all to get off my chest and damn it if there is carnage and wreckage because of the words on the page. Now, more often than not there is a little voice that says, “what until tomorrow before hitting publish.” But, not always though.
When tomorrow comes do I hit publish?
Sometimes, I check for grammar and hit publish, satisfied that the post says what I want it to say.
Other times, I might go back and edit; delete a bit; add more if needed. Then hit publish.
There is a rare time though, I just simply trash the whole thing.
Is that self-doubt? I don’t think so.
I tend to write based on emotion like many of us do. But, emotion can cloud things from time to time, so employing a bit of caution and restraint in a post until it is ready for publishing or for trashing can help in the long run.
I do feel that when self-doubt does creep in and it will, one good approach is to push back at it as hard or harder than it is pushing or coming at you.
Try something new in your writing. A different style or topic you might not have written on in the past. The more we grow and expand our writing and blogging envelope the more self-doubt in my mind gets eroded and becomes less of an issue over time.
Will self-doubt always be there?
Of course, it will. It is part of the nature of creativity and being creative.
As always, a huge thanks to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and looking at “writer’s self-doubt” within the blogging and writing universe.
— in order to be together, we need to be apart —