I know that self-doubt and worry are my natural go-to emotions when it comes to any work I produce. Whether it’s in the chemistry lab (oh yea, I am a chemist by training and have been working as such up until last month), preparing a document or presentation for clients, or making a dish for a dinner party or potluck. But I think that my tendency to second guess is even worse when it comes to my writing.
Don’t get me wrong, I have days when I am amazed at what I have created so far; and days when I am editing and I know that my work can be better and the knowledge that I can cut and rewrite where is necessary is comforting. The real problem start after a surge of pride/excitement/joy, because these feelings will inevitably be followed by the fear that I am delusional and that my work is far from being good enough. What my brain is really doing here it trying to safeguard me from getting hurt: feedback is stressful and maybe even hurtful at times, and the best way to avoid it is to set a candle in your birthday cake (see cat below for explanation).
And that’s okay! If my brain didn’t try to shield me from hurt I would do things rashly and most likely publish something unedited and unfit for distribution. The important part is that the fear of judgement and rejection shouldn’t stop me from sharing my stories with people who might want to read them. That is also another great aspect of self-publishing: I feel like it’s removed a road block to sharing with readers, and that’s really what matters to me.
So next time I feel the doubt creeping up on me, I will remind myself that I have worked really hard on my writing. I have put thought and hours upon hours into creating my plot and characters. I have even asked strangers and friends for feedback on my work despite how scary that can be. I continue to find ways to learn and grow as a writer. And that is enough; so the self-doubt can go away and let me keep on writing!