This is something I have been struggling with constantly for the past two or three months. “Am I a good enough writer to actually write and be serious about it?” … the doubtlets again, I’m afraid. I’ve been a writer all of my life – I remember writing stories in a made up language when I was two or three (I used the regular alphabet, but since I didn’t know how to spell real words back then it was just a jumble of letters that said stuff only I knew). I remember having folders upon folders of stories on our first computer when I was 9 or 10. I remember having such a vivid imagination that I needed to write no matter what, no matter where. Even now, I carry a journal around with me in my purse, in case there are things about which I feel the need to write.
And yet, still, I doubt myself. I tell myself, “Well, you can love writing and still not be worth publishing.” That – of course – doesn’t comfort me in the least. I know I have a good handle on language usage, thanks to my mom, who got her Master’s degree in English and was a stickler for her kids learning proper grammar and spelling. I know I have a vivid imagination, I know my writing isn’t that bad, but then I look at all of the books that have been published, and I doubt my imagination. I doubt my writing skills (although admittedly, I have caught some errors that editors haven’t caught in published books and e-books).
Because I doubt myself, I don’t let myself write. I think that is the biggest stumbling block I am facing right now – I don’t think I will ever be good enough to publish, so I’m not even trying to work towards that. I feel like a huge fake for calling myself a writer, to be quite honest, since currently I am not sitting down and forcing myself to write, because of my fears. I am letting my fears win this battle, and that’s never a good sign. I suppose it’s natural for writers to doubt their abilities, but… that doesn’t stop most writers I know. I also guess I should give myself some slack since I am in my fourth week of my second semester in grad school, and I need time to unwind after doing homework, but why can’t writing be part of my time spent unwinding? Why do I have to view it, already, as a chore? Even when I am at my most inspired, I just feel… very “blah” about this work in progress. I think it has potential, but I feel so stuck with it at the same time. Perhaps it’s because I’m reworking my NaNo novel, and feel like it’s not an actual new, exciting work. I’m not sure.
I just know that I wish that I could relax, just let myself write instead of worrying so much about whether or not I’m capable. That’ll work itself out, right? Right now, the most important thing is that I keep my brain sharp by writing regularly. If only I could convince myself that my WIP is not going to be a horrible piece of work, maybe I would do better… but I think the biggest problem here are the doubtlets. They need to be banished from my queendom… so I will work on that this week. And perhaps even get some more words written on my WIP. 😉