Sunday, February 26, 2012

Putting Self-Doubt To Work

Every other month I am ready to quit writing.
-- Natalie Goldberg

Unfortunately, in her otherwise highly inspiring book Writing Down the Bones, my BFF Natalie Goldberg doesn't give readers all that much help with handling self-doubt. She says things like "don't listen to doubt"--advice both obvious and impossible.

Let me share a technique you actually can use to handle self-doubt.

Use it.

Employ self-doubt as a source of material. Write about your doubts. Address doubt as a concept or a theme in your writing.

In other words, mine this dark and unconquerable subject for ideas. Examine your own doubts and the doubts of others. Tell your readers openly about your doubts, how you're unsure of yourself and yet you try to write anyway.

Our stories, our thoughts, even the essence of life itself--it's all about facing and accepting our doubts, isn't it? Start putting them to work.