Saying No to Doubt and Writing Anyways

Am I the only one?

I sit down to write, the story’s going great, I’m loving it, and life seems as though it couldn’t be going better. Then it happens. I pick up my pencil… and freeze.

Self-doubt plagues me. Fear of failure overwhelms me. And all I can do is sit there and stare.

I’m powerless to stop this. Or am I?

Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever get so controlled by your doubts that you become incapable of writing anything further? I feel this often, sometimes on a daily basis. But the question isn’t so much how to avoid it, it’s what do we do when it comes?

Because that’s the thing. We think we’re the only one experiencing this. But we’re not. What would you say if I told you that best-selling authors are still plagued by self-doubts and fears regarding writing and publishing their books? It’s true. You are not alone and, sorry to break it to you, it won’t go away.

That’s what we all think, isn’t it? That we’re going to reach this magical place of perfection and poof! The doubts are gone. The only question is how long will it take.

So we wait. And wait. And we wait for the doubts to stop coming. We think, “Well, today isn’t a good day to write, I’ll wait for another day when I’m not doubting myself so much”. But does that day ever come?

There are days when we feel more confident about ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we give up on the other days. Quite the opposite! My friend, it’s on those days when you’re doubting every word you write down, every sentence you think up, that you have to keep writing. No matter what, keep writing.

If you look at that blank page, feel the fears torrenting through you, and give in… what’s going to happen next time those feelings come? It’s going to get easier and easier to simply give up. That’s how so many writers never become published authors. But that’s not going to be you.

When you feel those doubts and fears rising up within you, I want you to squash them back down and write one word. Don’t think about the whole sentence, just write one word. Then write another. Then think about the next one. Keep taking it one word at a time until you have a sentence. Take a drink of water and look at what you just did.

You kept writing.

You conquered your fears.

But don’t stop there! Keep writing beyond that. Every time you doubt yourself, don’t give in. You have to keep writing despite what you’re feeling and, you know what? Each time it will become easier. It will get easier to keep writing instead of easier to quit. Remember that on the hard days.

Now, some days we do simply need a break. I don’t want to undermine that. But, most days, we simply give up before we even started. I’m guilty of that on more than one occasion. So that’s why I’m writing this post, to ask if you will stand with me as a body of writers and say no to self-doubt. Say no to fear. So no to imposter syndrome, writer’s block, procrastination, and every other malady we experience as writers. Say no to them all!

And keep writing.

Who’s with me?

Your turn!

What do you do when you have doubts? Do you give into the feelings of fear within you or do you keep writing anyways? Will you join the fight against doubt and everything else we struggle against and keep writing?

Blessings, Allyson

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