It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means it’s Insecure Writers’ Day. So while guest bloggers go at it insecurely on the main blog:
I thought I’d have a bash here at getting my insecurities out and waving them in the air. See, like a pair of dingy and holey knickers, my insecurities scream about everything that’s wrong with me. I have a recurring nightmare, for example, that when I’m famous I’ll be on TV talking to someone with real gravitas about my work, and I’ll come out and say something so stupid that everyone just gawps at me. Or else someone will get up and point at me and shout ‘Hey! I know you! You’re not a real writer, get out of here!’ Or else I’ll fart so loudly that it’s all over youtube within seconds. You get the picture.
But that’s only incidental insecurity. These scenarios don’t worry me as much as the daily, low-level insecurity which I experience, every time I write something or send it off. As Winnie-the-Pooh once said, ‘when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.’ I know exactly what he means. Whenever I’m excited about something I’ve written or an idea I’ve had, I wonder how it might seem to a sceptical editor or an unsympathetic reader and I subside like a fire that’s had a bucket of ice thrown over it.
Self-doubt can be crippling. As William Blake observed:
If the sun and moon should doubt
they’d immediately go out
and so it is with creativity. You’re walking on air and when self-doubt strikes, you come crashing down to earth. Self-doubt drains away all your confidence; it takes the joy out of creating and replaces it with hesitancy and fear.
So what do we do about it? Answers on a postcard please. Or comment below…