Every author I work with, including me, suffers from occasional bouts of self-doubt. Some of us suffer more frequently, but I’d say it’s proportionate to the amount of writing done. Like a mathematical formula… the more I write, the more I doubt my ability to write. But the converse is also true… the less I write, the more I doubt my ability to write.
On my walk this morning, I started listening to an audiobook called “The Successful Author Mindset.” It’s narrated by a lovely female British voice who sounds similar to the book’s author, Joanna Penn, and is a fantastic bargain right now at just $4.95. While chapters on “imposter syndrome,” “fear of criticism,” and “my writing isn’t original” really resonated with me, it’s this quote that caused me to pause and reflect:
“If you don’t make the time to write your book, you are the only one who suffers…”
My logical brain started attaching this quote to other people’s work. It screamed, “That’s not true. If [insert favorite author name] suddenly stopped writing, I would suffer, too.”
It was only when I allowed the thought to come back to me, to my writing, to the novels I fantasize of spinning, and to whatever messages I might have to share, that I realized the truth of her words. If I were to never complete—or worse yet, never start—the story that’s in my heart, then no one but me will know it. Each time I think about that unfinished dream, I’d be the one kicking myself in the pants for not being “good enough,” or “disciplined enough.” I’d be the one disappointed in myself.
Has this happened to you? Because if so, I want you to know you’re not alone. All writers—especially the successful ones—have fits of fear and comparisonitis.
But we can’t give in to those deadly doubts. It’s in those moments we most need to trust ourselves and to trust in the power of words to heal. Allow yourself to sit down and write the thoughts that are racing through your brain. Acknowledge the feelings. Embrace the fear. Then keep writing.
Because it’s better to be afraid than to never have lived.
Check out Joanna’s book here: http://amzn.to/2laGb8I