Thursday, 1 June 2017

Lydia Talks: Self-Doubt


Here’s the thing about self-doubt.

It blows. Really.

At some point in life, whether that be occasionally or all the time, you will doubt yourself. It can be about anything and it can feel like you’re standing under this really big and dark cloud with no light to be seen for miles and miles. It’s a soul sucker. It sucks you dry of everything, leaving you an insecure mess.

And self-doubt and writing seem to go hand in hand.

Inner-critic, or as I like to call it an inner-bitch, is harsh. Really harsh. Now, I’m all about self-love and positivity, but there are times you can give yourself so much self-hate it can make you feel deflated and depressed.

The reality of it is you’re putting yourself down over stuff that’s just in your head.
Nearly every author I know has gone, or is going, through this. It’s apparently normal, but at the same time it doesn’t feel normal. It even feels like self-inflicted abuse at times.

Why can’t I just be positive? Why can’t I enjoy what I’m doing? Why can’t I be happy with anything I write?

Why, why why?

Negativity hinders progress. Fear stops you from achieving goals.

I’ll write something, and after I read it back, I’ll fall into despair because I think it sucks. I’ll then start my own hate campaign and tell myself that I’m not good enough. That I’m never going to be an author if I keep this shit up. That I’m never going to make it.

Just STOP.

I’m putting heaps of pressure and stress on myself for nothing. All this self-doubt and hate is doing the opposite of what it’s yelling at me to do. Write better! Try harder! Do More! Yet I’m clamming up under the pressure.

I don’t like dwelling on the past, but I’ve picked up more broken pieces in my life than I’ve mended. So for me, it’s like I expect to keep picking up these broken pieces and this inner critic I have is like its damn cheerleader. It’s not encouraging and it’s not helping.

The problem is we can’t get rid of it.

I’ve realised there’s very little defeating self-doubt. It’s an inescapable thing. Hello writers block. Unless you’re a super positive person twenty-four-seven (alien), you’re going to go through episodes of self-doubt and uncertainty.

Why? That’s life.

I think we need to chill the f*ck out and cut ourselves some slack. Writing is hard. It’s hard and time consuming, but we do it because we love it. Life’s tough enough without us being shitty to ourselves as well.

Just because Maggie Brownie Brown has released several books in a year while you’re still working on your first six years later, doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to be a writer or that you’re not going to make it.

I’ve found it best to approach the whole writing thing with indifference. So what if I’ve got about five-thousand mistakes. So what if my grammar sucks. So what if my plot has holes. So what if my characters are planks. So what if I’m not like Maggie Brownie Brown.

SO WHAT.

I’ll be Lydia and I’ll do it my way.

Sure, I’ll self-doubt myself and I’ll do it some more, but I think the key is to not give up. Maybe one day it will pay off, and if not, at least you’re doing something you love.


L


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