“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath,
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
As sure as Spring keeps bringing flowers, as sure as days roll into months, the minute I place my hands on a keyboard, self-doubt appears next to me.
She’s the constant companion of my writing life. A mocking voice, nagging the moment a sentence appears on the screen. The heavy-handed clamp twisting my guts into small knots of worry.
“What are you doing”? “Who do you think you are”? she whispers right beside me, while the cursor keeps flashing on the screen, as I attempt to write. She’s about to triumph: I want to stop typing. I want to let her win, to grab my phone back, and forget all about writing.
No, not this time,
This time, I’ll try something new. I’ll keep her close to me. Why, you ask?
My previous attempts at shaking her loose, have failed over and over again. Why not seek a different approach, acknowledge her presence and accept her?
At this point in my life, changing is much harder than accepting myself, self-doubt included. I am choosing to embrace her, to go forward with my writing, while feeling her presence by my side. This time, instead of giving up on doing what I love, I will continue.
I might even get used to the tightness in my gut. Who knows?
In truth I know this inner work needs to be done! Which is the reason I’ll try to stop the constant feeling of inadequacy now! My writing does not need to be perfect to be understood. So what if English is not my first language?
I know I have lots to learn. The best way to do this, is to practice, then when I’m done practicing, I will practice some more.
Hello again self-doubt. See this beautiful flower slowly emerging into the Spring sunlight?
She never doubted Winter would end. In her deepest and darkest moments, she trusted that Spring with its warm embrace would visit her again. Yes, I am comparing my writing to a budding flower, one that trusts the light will eventually come after the dark and cold Winter months. Right now might be my Winter, so I need to keep trusting…
Come on, who am I kidding?