Motivation · Writing

Fear, Doubt and Uncertainty

I haven’t yet met or heard of a single writer or artist that isn’t, at least occasionally, plagued by fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Creative endeavors are unlike logical pursuits like math. In math, you add 2 + 2, and if your answer isn’t 4, you know definitively that you’ve done something wrong. Writing, like most other right-brained activities, doesn’t have a ‘right’ answer. There’s no page in the back of the book you can check that tells you if you’re doing things the correct way. Yes, you can get feedback from friends, peers, or random beta readers, but even then, there’s always that little niggling sensation that it’s not good enough. That it will never be good enough.

I’m currently suffering from one of those moments of sagging confidence and uncertainty. On most days, I can read a book and think “I can write that well!” (Or even, when I’m feeling cocky, “I am soooo much better than that.”) Then, as inevitably happens, I go reread something I recently wrote, and go “Crap. Maybe I’m just fooling myself.”

What’s most likely to be true is that I’m probably somewhere in the middle, just like most people. I’m sure I write better than some and worse than others, and that’s okay. The key is to not let myself get bent out of shape about it. The only way to get better at anything is to keep doing it, over and over and OVER again. So, afraid or not, uncertain or not, I can’t allow my enthusiasm and effort to waver.

I am a writer. I will do this. I AM doing this.