Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm My Own Worst Enemy!

I'm beyond frustrated with myself at the moment because once again, I've given in to my inner critic and turned off my muse. Am I the only one out there who feels they are in constant battle with the voice of doubt?

Yesterday I woke up sobbing from a nightmare that left me terrorized and an emotional wreck. It was a pretty good dream but for that one gut wrenching scene and I was left wondering whether it was a gift from the Story Gods that I should write it all down. I couldn't get around how I felt waking up and it didn't take long for my muse to speak up: "Belinda, why don't you write that scene. Capture the emotions and if the moment presents itself, write an empowering ending."

Perfect, I thought as my mind started racing and the scene reformed. The words were already flowing, all I needed to do was put them on my laptop and I'd be good to go. *chuckles* Oh that it could be that simple. The minute I opened up the document and started to type - I kid you not - I was bombarded with self doubt. "Who do you think you are to write?" "Oh that sentence you just did sounded stupid" "People aren't going to want to read this" To add to the insult, I started to see everything I wrote in startling red as future edits called for me to delete and redo.

It drives me nuts that I do this to myself. I'm a good writer and there's no need for me to think like this. It's like I hit this wall in my mind and I spend the rest of the time banging against it, trying to move past it. Sometimes I can and it's pure magic. But sometimes, like yesterday, I just can't seem to do it and I end up discouraged.

What I need is a boost of confidence and something big and hard to beat the self doubt over the head with. I love writing. I love the rush that comes when a story unfolds and characters take over and you're left with the tingles because you've created something amazing. So much time is wasted for me. I have stories unfinished that call to me, begging for me to complete them. *sigh* I just need to find away to break down that wall and silence the voices. I have great stories inside me.  I just need to give them a voice and set the free.

Does anyone else feel and experienced the same? Overcome it? Have advice? Please me and my muse are desperate!


  1. I sorry I don't have any advise but I know what you mean. When ever I try to write something I always think to myself who the hell are you to try and write. I try to fight through the feeling, sometimes that works, other times it makes it worse =\ Sorry i couldn't be of more help.


  2. When I get those feelings, I keep going anyway. Get it down. Don't listen to what the voices are saing and like Dori says "Just keep swimming!" I have a chapter I was working yesterday. I honestly hate it and in the end did not finish it but just moved on. I will revisit it when I am done and fix it. If I hate it, the reader will probably skip it. Keep going now. There's time for the self doubt once it's written.

  3. I know exactly what you are talking about! It is almost painful, and leaves you with so much doubt. I haven't finished my book yet, so I don't know if my advice is sound, but I just try to keep going. I tell that little voice to shut the h*ll up, and that if sentences need to be reworked- well, that is what revisions are for! But first, we just have to get the story out.

    You can do it. I am rooting for you!

  4. I think doubt is normal. The more comfortable I get with writing the less doubt I have about it. My first attempt at writing a book I threw away and deleted about 60,000 words in because I decided I hated it. I never let anyone read it and decided on my own it was dumb and no one should ever be forced to read this. My second attempt went much better because this time my best friend stepped in and demanded chapters as I wrote them and literally kept me from doing it again which was my instinct several times through out the experience. When I finally finished it and I read it as a whole I realized it wasn't as bad as I thought. Numerous edits later it is still my favorite story I have written. I think it is honestly a matter of writing despite the doubts and then looking at it as a whole. I think it is at the very beginning of Under the Tuscan Sun someone says "Terrible ideas are like play ground scapegoats. Given the right encouragement they grow up to be geniuses"

  5. Doubt is normal, but no matter how much you self loathe -FINISH IT. I go through a point in all my books where I go 'this sucks'. And then I smack myself in the head and tell my self to get over it and finish it. LOL. You can do it. Think chugga, chugga ... :)

  6. I haven't seen a writer yet that didn't doubt their own talent at one point or another. When it comes to first drafts, best advice - write. True a good share of it will get shredded on the edit floor later on. However, you'll be left with the meat of the story. (Hugs)Indigo

  7. If we didn't have some doubt, would we be writing what we feel or just what we know? And who likes to read a technical manual for entertainment.

  8. Thank you so much everyone for your comments and support. Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you're not alone and that feeling doubt is I guess part and parcel of writing. I just need to get to the place where it doesn't crush me. I still haven't been able to sit down and write that scene like I wanted. I feel a story there and I'm excited to see what happens. I'm just such a dang perfectionist, thinking I need to have it right the first time. No wonder I'm so in my head LOL

    *chugga chugga* I can do this!

  9. I think that self-doubt can be seen as a potential benefit; it can help us to be stronger and find more confidence in our writing. With the amount of competition on the market these days, we have to be stronger in our thoughts. I often wake up and think, that dream would make for a good story, and then, before I've had chance to write it down, I've started thinking about the characters and the location. Before I know it, the flipping dream has gone out of my head!!

    CJ xx