Ever trashed or deleted a piece of work you later wished was recoverable?
Haven’t we all…
Is there a literary love of your life that’s never seen the light?
Sshhh, mine’s in the black, steel filing cabinet… I remove the half-finished manuscript several times a year to caress and yearn over the fading pages like I was Gollum with the RingJ
|It's mine, it's mine!|
So, after spending hours, days, months and even years on a writing project or manuscript, why do we do this to ourselves?
For me, at least, the main reason I’ve gone there on multiple occasions
it’s a large filing cabinet
is one hundred percent due to self-doubt.
Such a mean word. Even though I knew how to spell it, I still did a spell-check to make sure the hyphen is used.
Webster’s Online Dictionary lists self-doubt as “lack of self confidence” and for various reasons I spent a few years – a few years ago – mired in a lack of self confidence.
It was only after I pulled those infamous boot straps up and fought for my first writing gig in 2003 that I later woke up with a magazine by my side and a smidgen of self confidence in my head.
Later, when I saw my name in the local newspaper
with no court date attached
I baby-stepped my way to a confident corner.
That is, until one day, while gainfully employed as a Staff Reporter working on a deadline that I realized the words on the page were just crap.
Pure, unadulterated, shoot
my interview was weak, the feature was off-point and I knew my editor would kill me.
So I did the adult thing: I deleted everything and stormed off to bed.
Next day, I thought I could salvage said deletion, but it was gone.
This is about when I discovered that this writing thing isn’t as easy as they say.
OK then smarty-pants, so how do you get over your self-doubts now?
Oh, how I wish I could offer the solution to your self-doubts. But, if I could, I wouldn’t be a writer, I’d be some sort of late-night television infomercial dude wearing a blue polo shirt, sharing how *you* too can enjoy the painless cure to self-doubt for only 237 easy payments of $19.95 (plus a 25-year lien on your abode to cover our low-cost shipping, processing and express handling.)
BUT WAIT!! Read on, I’ll share what’s working for me… and that’s pricelessJ
If you’ve checked out any of my other posts, you’ll see I tend to write with an alleged sprinkling of humor.
Good grief… how can you write about ridding self-doubt and then turn around to say your writing is “allegedly” funny…
Oh, yes, ahem. So I’m a fantastically talented and funny writer of humor
Sorry, I’m not used to giving advice, so mahalo for bearing with me.
Indeed, it was only this week that I finally figured out – for me – a rock solid way of demolishing the doubts.
For the very first time, my wife read one of my posts out loud – while I was in the same room.
Don’t ask me why this hasn’t happened before – but it hasn’t, and oh my gosh…. It was so awesome to hear her – and Uncle Jerry – laughing about our efforts to build a gingerbread house.
The second way was more internal. The more I post, the more my views grow, which leads to more comments.
Comments from readers who are not related to me.
Comments from readers whom I’ve never met, and who live in other continents.
Comments from folks who’ve said they’ve been looking forward to reading my latest post.
Sure I’m not a published author
but I’m a better writer than before I started blogging – and that’s my point.
As 2011 ends, so does my self-doubt. I am a good writer, working to become a great writer.
|My Write History|
How about you?
With about a week left in the year, why not take a look inwards. Is there a Gollum hiding in your workroom?
Do you read email, check Facebook or view the weather in your hometown before settling down to write?
What self-doubts might be holding you back?