How I got over my self-doubt this time

This week has been another brutal week in world affairs.

I feel quite selfish talking about my own struggles with trivial words on a page when there is pain and death in the lives of so many others.

But this week, I’ve really battled with self-doubt and motivation. I was sick of Evangeline and didn’t want to write another word about her. I was convinced I was writing a bunch of rubbish and would never be able to write again. Blah, blah, blah. Self-indulgent writers rant.

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I tried to push through but it got worse. I sat slamming my forehead against the desk, trying to break through a scene. But today, I finally got back on track.

What helped in the end?

  • Advice from others

I listened to Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert about treating my creativity kindly and sought the counsel of my wise writing friend. I put my stuff into perspective and remembered I was not alone.

  • Taking a break

I walked away from the computer when I was getting nowhere. I went to the gym, I went outside. I picked up an old manuscript in a completely different world/genre and fiddled with it for a day.

  • Keeping going

I took a break but I kept pushing on every day. I was convinced I was writing a lumpy mess of porridge but after a few days, I could salvage it into something tasty (hopefully – terrible metaphor, bad writer).

  • Nice feedback and counting my blessings

I took heart from the kind words of others and recognised my own achievements. I was grateful for creativity and the Muse, readers, friends and my words on the page, no matter how shitty.

Finally after a week of struggles, I whipped that final scene into shape and it’s almost ready for human consumption. I’m back.

How do you overcome your self-doubt?

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3 Comments

  1. Danielle K Girl

    Evangeline is not a lumpy mess of porridge, wash your mouth out with soap at once! (Or is it hands seeing as its typed?-doesn’t matter, you get the point.) I’ve read your novella, your self-doubt is wasted energy 🙂

  2. Andrew

    Glad to hear that you worked through your self-doubt, Evangeline is simply delicious and I’m looking forward to her next adventure.

  3. Andrew

    Call me old fashioned, but the one writing advice I heard and passed along to another writer friend is this: “First drafts don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be written.”

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