THE DEVIL OF DOUBT
So you can write a sentence. You may even be writing sentences that show an excellent command of language but this is where the devil of doubt rears its head because the the question is, does anybody want to read your sentences?
The trouble is honesty. Friends always like your work. After all, they want to stay friends with you. Your writing group - if you have one - who can be meticulous about the inaccuracy of mathematical equations quoted in your work, won’t tell you the truth. Even if you have the disposable income to pay for a professional critique, you won’t be told don’t bother.
So you have this story living in your imagination and you’re crafting it from your mind onto the page. You’ve taken courses, given people the outline of your story, had feedback and are convinced there’s a smidgen of talent connecting your inner world to the outer one.
Now doubt is insidious and once it gains a foothold you end up wondering if you have the ability to transcribe the vivid world you see in your mind’s eye, into a form where others can engage with it. How do you know what you’re creating is good enough?
And what can can you do to get rid of this disparaging companion? I think the answer is on the page.
When you re-read your work and you become so absorbed that you don’t realize your critical mode has switched off, it means your story has lifted you out of yourself. And if you can be moved by your writing, so can others.
And so you arrive at the other side of doubt - hope - because if there’s a devil on one shoulder, there’s an angel on the other.
Doubt enables you to pause long enough to hear and learn how to progress your work to the next level. And hope for improvement is the reason why none of the above mentioned people will tell you your work is rubbish. Both hope and doubt influence us deeply so until you’re a successfully published award winning author, I say, keep doubting and hope will give you the courage to keep trying.
Red winter apple
bobs at the end of a branch.
Blackbird neatly pecks.
Don’t look out for my upcoming haiku collection ‘Haikus Galore’ - at least not yet. I’ve had some good feedback but this week have been too involved in a throw down wrestling session with the order of events in one of my chapters to lavish any attention on the poetry. I hope you’re enjoying reading the haikus I’ve been putting up.
Here are a couple of websites about writing whose advice helps me in my writing;
And if you haven’t read Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’, I would suggest you do.
For all book lovers out there, I wish you good reading and for those of you who write, good writing.
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