Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Giving Yourself Permission

I've been busy with all sorts of activities and writing hasn't gotten the time it deserves. In a way, I think I may have been procrastinating. Maybe I even got bit by the self-doubt bug. Don't you just hate that little sucker. Or maybe it's just me.

Despite having a sketch of the upcoming scenes, I hadn't gotten any further on my wip. All of a sudden all sorts of questions started popping up. Is there enough conflict? Is there too much? Is the story too complicated? Is it too simple? Is it just a really stupid story idea all together? Self doubt.

While sharing emails with a friend, I revealed my quandary and she said, "It's ok. You're ok. Keep going." She pointed out that it's ok if it's crap. It's ok if I have to go back and edit or even erase. That's all part of the journey. And I know I've heard that a million times. And this may sound silly, but her giving me permission to keep going allowed me to do so.

Do you face self-doubt with your writing? How do you get beyond it?

April

15 comments:

Shelli Stevens said...

That's a great point. Giving yourself permission. Because it's so true. And really, the best advice IS just to write it. Write the story of your heart, and let your critique group rip it to shreds. Or an editor if you skip that part :D

Sue aka MsCreativity said...

I'm up and down with my wip all the time. In the down times it's so tempting to give up, but then I remind myself that everyone feels like this some of the time - even those who have 'made' it.

There's only one way to get beyond it, and that's to accept you're going to have days when you'll feel like this (it's normal) and keep going regardless.

Sue :-)

DJ said...

I think self-doubt is simply part of package, like going to Captain D's and ordering the fish dinner combo. You might not like the cole slaw, but it's part of the deal. So is self-doubt. Sometimes it's justified. For me at least. That nagging voice saying, "Hey, this ain't right. What you've got on the computer screen is a lot of BS." And a lot times--more than I like to think about--it is. Other times, it's just my insecurities bugging me.

I'm a nose to the grindstone kind of person. My family motto has always been, "Get well or die." In the broader sense, you're allowed a short time to feel sorry for yourself (or wallow in self-doubt) and then it's time to pull up your big girl panties and deal with it. In my case, that means WRITE.

Emma Sinclair said...

I can literally stop myself in the middle of a sentence if I start "thinking" too much.

For me, I have to actually work really hard to turn off the part of my brain that thinks and just concentrate on the more feeling part. The part that gets the words down on paper.

But I think one of the greatest things is a lot of times that part of my brain isn't as stupid as the other part seems to think it will be!

Tori Lennox said...

The doubt demons visit me ALL the time. Very inconsiderate guests. *g*

Stacy Dawn said...

That has to be the hardest part about writing. I don't do it very well, I can't ignore the voices saying, "it sucks" or "it's not right so stay and fix it!" I'm seriously hoping someday, if not quietened then at least they will be muffled...a LOT.

Julie S said...

I have self doubt ALL THE TIME. My suckage points are cyclical. But since I've had so many ups and downs, I know my downs are only temporary. Plus, I've read some lousy books that remind me that I'm not that bad.

Actually, I'm pretty sure my existing WIP is going under the bed permanently, once it's finished. :-)

Stephanie Bose said...

Only egoists never have self-doubt. It's completely natural to have those feelings -- a good writer will find a way to work through them. You can do it April... just let the process work itself through in your head, and if you have a cp, give her/him the basic storyline to see if it indeed is too complicated or simplistic. That's what cps are for : )

Marcy said...

Giving myself the permission to think rather than write once in a while usually does the trick. What's wrong with my wip, how can I fix it? Undoubtably I end up feeling better about it and even a little inspired.

Marcy

Karen Erickson said...

I have doubt all the time - it comes and goes but man when it's around, it's bad.

I'll be real excited and think how my story is so great and then all of a sudden it's like, "this sucks! Toss it!" Ugh...

But then I get over it and think it's okay, then great, then terrible, then decent, then sucky sucky...you get the idea!

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Tess Harrison said...

Yep, I've been bitten by that bug many times. And I believe you're so right. Giving yourself permission is what it's all about. Not just for writing crap. But for trying to write things you're just not sure about. Or subjects that interest you but you really don't a lot about. Just go with it and have fun and then you can always edit later.

April said...

My big girl panties huh? I love it DJ. But I've only been married just over a year, are big girl panties going to upset my hubby? :-)

Thankfully the funk passed.... As it always does. And it's nice to hear I'm not alone with it. I guess it jsut goes with the biz. Thanks, everyone!!