I have spent the last couple of weeks writing a short story. I enjoyed writing it, I conveyed through the characters what I wanted to communicate, and I found myself thinking of sequels I could derive from it. Additionally, in my less-than-humble opinion, I thought it was a well-crafted story.
Now I’m not so sure. The wretched beast of self-doubt is rearing its massive head and showing its snapping teeth. It is saying to me in a voice dripping with scorn, “Who are you trying to kid? You’re no writer.. At least not one that anyone wants to read. Did anyone actually read your last story? Your work is laughable, embarrassing,trivial….” The descriptors vary according to the depth of my of my self-doubt.
You can do a web search for tips on how to overcome self-doubts as a writer. I am not going to add anything to those suggestions except to say that for me to overcome my doubts and resulting self-abuse, I need to return to the same question that I ask myself from time-to-time: Why do I write? I have several answers to this question, and I change it each time I ask it. Today’s answer comes from a meme I recently read on my Facebook page:
“I write because if I didn’t, then I would have to kidnap people and force them to act out the stories in my head. You would get arrested for that, I think.”
An amusing hyperbole, but one with a seed of truth. See, the bottom line for me is this: I have all these ideas floating around inside me. They have to come out. If not — well, I don’t know what would happen except it won’t be pretty. And if my work stinks, so let it stink.
And that monster that messes with my self-esteem can just go pound sand.