I believe all writers struggle with doubt at times. We spend months, maybe even years, crafting something from our own minds and then, when it’s as near our original vision as we think we can get, we have a choice.
Send it out into the world or not?
Most writers will, eventually, decide to send it out. For us the creative process is incomplete without sharing our work. So we do so. We send our short story to magazines, our novel to agents and publishers.
Then there’s an agonisingly long wait…
Sometimes the wait is up to six months. And it’s natural that in that time we start to doubt ourselves. Are we just delusional scribblers?
I thought the doubt would go away once I had a few publishing credits under my belt.
Just because my last piece was well received is no guarantee the next one will be. I worry about every single thing I write.
Last week, when the final edits of my book were done and it was too late to change anything, I was convinced I’d made a major error. Even though I was perfectly certain and happy when I sent it off.
This week I’ve been getting subscribers for my newsletter by telling everyone how great it’s going to be. Now people are taking me at my word I feel sure it will be terrible.
There’s not a lot you can do about this kind of doubt. I try to reason it away. Tell myself that I also thought no one would follow me on Instagram, that I couldn’t do Twitter, that this blog would never get any traffic. That was all wrong. It does help to remember those things. But the doubt persists. The only way to permanently resolve it is to find out if it’s true or not. And you can only do that if you keep going in spite of it.
At the end of the day, doubt is better than regret. And if you let doubt that you’re good enough stop you, well, you’ll never know if you could have done it.