Writing through self-doubt

There’s been a lot of self-doubt threads around lately and I always shy away from them. Self-doubt is a constant for writers, I suppose. I feel it all the time. I fret and I worry. I whine with the best of them. Somehow I just have to separate it from the actual process of writing. I complain about my day job over margaritas as well, and then I go back the next morning and do it. Writing’s the same — but better. I don’t get the same self-indulgent high from my day job.

Some might say it’s so personal and that’s why the fear is so great. Oh no…don’t do that to yourself. I am a master of the mind game! This is a personal journey and you make up the rules you operate by. Why set parameters that put you in the loser’s circle? Define rules of the game that empower you, not weaken you.

What do I mean? When I was teaching, a lot of teachers fell into the trap of thinking these kids are too far gone. They’ve had years of bad schooling, weak parenting, the school system is screwed, etc. It’s what we call in teaching the “deficit model” but I expanded it beyond just looking at the students to my whole outlook. You can’t win if you start from behind like that. Why don’t you consider instead that you have one hour a day with these kids? They can’t turn the channel, they can’t go to their rooms. One hour of undivided attention is more than some of their parents get. Take that one hour and work it hard.

Maybe this book won’t ever sell, but that’s out of my hands. I’m going to walk these halls like a rockstar and the rest will come. What else can I do?

No Comments

  1. Lisa
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 07:44:18

    Hell yeah!! Great post. I’m book marking this one so I can refer back in weak moments.

  2. Jeannie
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 09:58:07

    If we don’t have our delusions of grandeur, what do we have left?

  3. Dara
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 12:30:27

    Awesome post!

    In my dreams, I see myself getting an agent within a few weeks, my book being sold to a publisher within a few months and then it becoming a worldwide bestseller šŸ˜›

    Hey, it could happen. šŸ™‚ I like my little delusions–they actually help keep me sane otherwise I’d fall victim to self-doubt.

  4. Flicka Holt
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 15:43:37

    Self-doubt will always be there. You can’t control that. But you can control whether or not you give up because of it.

    I think “Iā€™m going to walk these halls like a rockstar and the rest will come” will be my new mantra. šŸ˜‰

  5. Jeannie
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 16:29:41

    Hi Flicka!
    Just for reference – I think I thought of that when someone was lamenting about how teenagers worshiped rock stars nowadays as their role models. What stops a chemistry teacher from walking the halls like a rock star then? šŸ™‚

    Dara – All things are possible!

  6. Jax Cassidy
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 22:46:44

    You’re SO right. Kids are aware of whether you really care or you don’t. They’re intuitive that way. You’d be surprised what kind of impression you make and I applaud you for seeing it and seizing the opportunity. Some day when these kids make their commencement speeches because they’re at the top of their class, you be they’ll mention their teacher made a difference.

    I’m with you about shying away from self-doubt blogs. I did it too. I tend to give myself the biggest pep talks because I believe in myself and my writing–even the times are hard. At least I’m still keep writing because it fuels my soul.