Getting Over It

Writing is hard. Writing is real hard. I wish that I could express to you–truly!–how hard this. Being able to pull something out of the nebulous creative ether and share that to other people?

It’s hard.

But what I want you to know something, and I will try my best not to sound conceited.

The cool thing about being a writer, is that not everyone can do it.

The hard thing about being a writer, is that not everyone can do it.

The impossible thing about being a writer, is that no everyone can do it.

For every work that you create, there will be a doubt. No matter how quick, not matter how long, no matter how infrequent. The doubt will be there. Almost like a too tight safety belt.

But, there is something to this. What I want you to do when doubt crops up is embrace it, not hold it. This is something that you will learn with time, and as you get comfortable writing.

Embrace the doubt= you realize doubt is there.

Not hold it= doubt will always be a weight, and it is not to be entertained long.

That is the thing about writing. You have to be able to believe you can do it, before you can ever do it. It is the doubt that allows you to still look at a work with some degree of respect–and realize that every piece, every work in project is your responsibility. To care for. And complete.Being a creative has a certain weight and heft to it. Some part of that creative is, does require a radical belief in self.

With that ability, do one thing for me: be grateful.

There are those of us along with journey to writing or creativity that hold on to doubt. Who forget that writing is not as natural for others as it is to us. Or, they allow the doubts of others to be projected on their own talents and cease to create anything. Or anything else.

But gratitude, that is the counterweight to doubting while creating. Your gratitude will allow and plow room towards what it is you want to create. Honor your talent. Honor your commitment.

Putting off the writing never makes it easier.

Taking your creativity for granted only makes you ungrateful.

An ungrateful writer is one most unpleasant to be around. Besides, there is nothing like a good bout of Writer’s Block to make one humble. Trust me.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Picture it.

You. Blank pages. Full pens. Battery? 100%

You have all these lovely, deviant, dark, horrifying, sexy, funny ideas in you head. Yet…you doubt if you can write them down.

Where did all that faith go?

Where did all that passion fall to?

Where is your motivation?

First, don’t panic.

Second, ignore it.

You heard what I said. Ignore the doubt. You do this by writing anyway. This is the mystery of writing! You have to be willing to be two things:

  1. Available
  2. Okay with being uncomfortable

As a writer, you need to be okay with being uncomfortable. One of my writing/snark heroes is the incredible Luvvie Ajai. She was hesitant in embracing the title of writer as well. It can be heavy; there are certain connotations that come along with it. There are demands, expectations, joys unprecedented–but doubts that you may have never known.

So, when I ask you the question, what are you afraid of? I have asked myself the same thing. With every new project. With every Work In Progress. On every blog post. On every thing I write.

Herein lies the rub: not every writer has the same doubts. Or will have the same way of dispelling them. However, the doubt as I said earlier this month, keeps you humble. It keeps you working at your craft. It keeps you learning–it is never to paralyze you.

Don’t let the doubt paralyze you.

What is in you head, can be pushed through your hands.

You can do it.

Write.

Why The Doubt Is Crippling

There is nothing so devastating as being scared to write down the thing which is on your own head. Such a paradox to create something and then not bring it to the light of paper or screen.

There is nothing so devastating as to want to create, only to fear the outcome.

Sometimes dear ones, these things happen. Especially, when it something outside of your normal comfort zone. Something that may be seen as a little wilder. Sexier. Scarier. Darker.

The doubt is most disconcerting, yes. But, it is not insurmountable. Consider it the reminder of your mortality. The reminder that every story, every idea, has and needs a certain amount of care. A level of respect and concern before beginning and finishing any work.

It could even be a guard to being to hasty before starting a new work. Switching a genre. Even thinking of using a pen name. Sometimes the doubt can allow the story to incubate, stew a while. This way when you come back it, the thought–your thought, subject to your talent and its skill–is or may be more easily managed.

The doubt is a yellow light, a stop sign. But it is not, nor should be a considered a brick wall. Listen to the doubt. Sometimes its background noise, sometimes it it’s your imagination reminding you to just wait a minute. In the waiting, you may just make what would be a good story into something phenomenal.

The Doubt Is Normal

Stephen King says the scariest part of writing is just before you begin. But, what if you begin and are still afraid? The three questions you will encounter during your journey towards beginning/finishing your WIP are:

Can I do this?

Can I finish this?

Will I do this again?

One of the ways, the best way, you combat this feeling of doubt is to–keep writing. This will be your sledgehammer; your dynamite; your lifeline and or anchor. You have to keep writing. You must keep writing.

Consider your writing talent a house you are building. Every word, every idea, every thought you chase, is brick, window or door to your house. Doubts are the drafts which come in to steal your fire. Doubts are the cracks in your foundation to rob you of confidence. Doubts are the leaks in the roof, to discourage you from finishing a work.

Doubt corrupts all aspects of creative channels. It corrupts, and cripples. But the antedote to it is in the process! You cure doubt by continuing the process. You stop the doubt but finishing not relinquishing your creativity!

In short: don’t give up again.

I believe in you. Keep writing.

Be sure to follow The Writers’ Block podcast this month for writing tips and encouragement to help you combat writing while doubting.