Doubts…I’ve got doubts

So, today I’ve been struggling with my motivation to keep on writing. Nothing is really happening, career-wise, right now for me with regards to publishing, and I’m beginning to let the doubt monsters creep into my brain every now and again. They settle in, like parasites, robbing me of my positive mojo, and make me doubt every word I pen. ( or in my case, type) These negative thoughts creep in, insidiously, trying to take over my creativity and confidence.

Nothing sparks these episodes, not really. But small events do make me realize what a long road I still have left to travel towards publication. The announcement of an acquaintance getting a book contract; the pride when a colleague tells me they’ve landed an agent; hearing about an upcoming release of yet another book by my favorite author.

None of these things singularly is enough to set me off on my spiral of self-doubt. But collectively, they can and do make me doubt myself as a writer.

The only way – aside from heavy medication, which I won’t do! – to get the negativities off my back, is for me to remember why I write in the first place. Publication was never the end goal for me. I know when I tell that to some people they roll their eyes and say, “Really?” with such disbelief that it’s comical, but it’s true. I didn’t start writing with the hope of being the next Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling. I started writing again last year as an outlet for my creativity. I had so many  voices ( the good kind) swirling around in my head with stories to tell, I just wanted to give them an outlet. When I realized there were other people like me out there, with stories to tell and voices to let free, I began to see my writing in a different way. A few contest wins and suddenly I thought I might have something someone might actually want to publish. That goal became the paramount one – getting what I’d written letter perfect for an editor in the hopes that it would be purchased and published. I moved away from the goal in my heart.

Then, when publication didn’t happen in the millisecond I thought it would, I got depressed. Not “you need to talk me off a ledge” depressed, just a little down about the circumstances. Again, I forgot about the goal in my heart.

Today, during the self-doubt-a-thon hour I allowed myself, I wrote the following words on a piece of paper and taped it to the window in front of me. Remember WHY you write.

Now, when those nasty parasitic negativities come creeping back in, all I need to do is glance at that little piece of paper and they are once again banished to the outer recesses of my psyche.

Remember why you write.

Four little words that have the strength of ten thousand fighters.

 

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3 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Strong Women

3 responses to “Doubts…I’ve got doubts

  1. Even when things are clicking along, the momentum can be scary! Perhaps we writers are a worrying lot by nature, but you are absolutely right: it’s important to put that self-doubt firmly on the shelf and focus on the WHY not the outcome. I write because love, laughter and happily-ever-afters should be our reward for enduring the struggles, frustrations and heartache in life. And, because I can do it in my jammies with no make-up. 🙂

    Like

  2. Jennifer Parris

    It is so easy for most of us to feel doubt rather than confidence! When i am writing, I often say “I am not making money right now. I should do something else that makes money.” Then I remember, I write because I REALLY love to write, to see characters come alive, to move forward in plot and even to edit and revise. I really do love it, But, I need to get out of my own way!

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    • Peggy Jaeger

      Jennifer I agree totally! I need to get out of my way and get out of my head on more days that I’d like to admit. I write because I love to write. Period. Just remembering that makes
      it easier some days.

      Like

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