Secondly, I'd like to address and clarify something several of you commented on in my post, A Misdiagnosis. I did not mean to come across as saying that doubt is the only reason for writer's block. I understand that there are many reasons for it, such as hitting a roadblock in your story or just not feeling it at your current stage in life. What I was saying is that, when we are attacked by doubt, we tend to label it as "writer's block," when it's actually something a little more . . . sinister, if you will. We underestimate how big of a deal doubt really is.
That's what I wanted to clear up. I hope you better see where I'm coming from now. And since that's out of the way, let's jump right into the thick of it: what makes up the swarm of doubt we face?
There's never just "one doubt." There are multiple kinds, and branches leading off the main ones. For example, say you doubt your ability to write. That'll look different for you than it does for me. But this won't be an exhaustive list. What I want to hone in on are a few of the major doubts writers--and people in general--face. Without further ado, let's begin.
1. You doubt that you are good enough.
Everyone has these moments in life, where they stop and question if they are good enough at what they do. They too easily see their imperfections and toy with the idea of quitting. Often, this doesn't really have to do with their skill in their craft. It's their self-worth that's being pondered.
Let me tell you that are already good enough. There's nothing you can do that will make you either better or worse. As a person designed in the very likeness of God, you have incredible worth. The DNA of the universe's Creator is programmed into you.
A song, called "Made," by Hawk Nelson comes to mind. In the chorus of the song, it says, "And you'd believe if you could see the smile on His face the moment you were made." Never forget that God deemed you to be valuable enough that He'd die for you. And if He says you have worth, what does it matter what other people say, or what that little, nagging voice in your head spews? You are good enough right here, right now.
And nothing will ever change that.
2. No one will want to read what you write.
This is a huge doubt for us, because if nobody reads our stories, then why are we writing in the first place? That's a very good question, thank you for asking that. Here's my two cents on the subject. While it's always great to have people reading your projects, it honestly shouldn't be your main focus.
I know that probably sounds weird. I mean, my top love language (I actually have two, but that's not important right now) is words of affirmation. So this sounds like a bizarre concept to me as well. I love getting feedback and hearing what others have to say about what I've written. But even if no one would ever pick up one of my books, I'd still write.
I'm like Eric Liddell in the way that I feel God's pleasure when I write. I've found that, when I haven't written for an extended period of time, I feel kind of . . . lost. Drifting aimlessly. Each day purposeless. But when I get back into it, that all changes. And I know I'm doing what I'm called to do. That's why I would never quit.
3. You'll never get published.
Another big struggle for us is wondering if we'll ever see our books on store shelves. We think our story will be lost among all the others, or that we won't even get a chance to show the world what we're passionate about.
I think that's actually one of the greatest keys to being published: passion. See, it's a contagious thing. If you're deeply excited about something, the way you'll talk and act about it will stand out. People will notice. I'm not saying passion alone will get you published, but I think it's pretty important.
In the end, though, when you're dealing with this doubt, there's only a few things you can really do about it. First, do your homework. Make sure you do all that you can to make your story ready for publishing. Secondly, pray about it and just let go of the situation. There comes a point when it's out of your hands, so the best thing to do is allow God to take care of it. Lastly, start envisioning yourself getting published. Your mind is a powerful thing. If you keep imagining yourself having a book published, you start to establish that belief inside you. Before you know it, you'll be drawn into a situation where that becomes possible.
Well, I don't really have time for more doubts today. As I said, this is definitely not a complete list. When I asked her about these, Tracey mentioned that all of these doubts are interconnected. I think I covered a few of the major ones, so I think I'll leave--
Wait a minute. There's another connection I see here. If I'm not mistaken, while doubt may a lumbering beast, it draws its energy from another source. A fouler, darker source. One that has plagued humanity since Eden. It's a simple word with huge ramifications.
It looks this isn't quite over yet. One more post will wrap up this series in the near future. In the meantime, which doubt do you struggle with the most?