a great post on self-doubt

from terribleminds: Writers must kill self-doubt before self-doubt kills them.

And for quotey goodness, since I love baking analogies:

Can you imagine if that was our response to all the things in life? “I tried to bake my first cake and it turned out gluey and unpleasant, so I set fire to my kitchen and walked away as it exploded behind me.”

A lot of my recent writerly confidence comes from this place of “I have written”. Self-doubt can rear it’s ugly head because not every cake is going to be spongey and golden.

I’ve been baking chocolate chip cookies for years, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fail just because I know the recipe by heart. Even pros burn a batch, occasionally. In learning, a novice can confuse a great batch early on as mastery of process and get very, very frustrated when she can’t replicate those results a week later. And in the long haul, I’m still very much a novice.

It’s easier to say “This book sucks and I’ll never be good at this” than it is to say “I’ve been writing for a few months/years, so — of course — I’m not that great at it yet, but I’m still better than when I started.” It’s also near impossible to say “You know, I didn’t hit this as hard as I wanted to, but I will learn from these mistakes, and work on my aim for next time.” Yes, it’s easier to attack myself and call myself names than it is to slog through and, ya know, learn something from the experience.

I don’t know of a cure for the doubt within (I bet if there was an easy one, everyone in the whole world would be a creative-type), but reminding myself that this is the long haul certainly helps.

And vodka.

But I bet you already knew that.

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