I saw this prompt being answered by Melanie over at sparksfromacombustibelmind and felt it fit perfectly with the poem I wrote earlier this week.
The prompt/question is from the blog Salted Caramel:
How often are you afflicted by self-doubt and what do you do about it?
Although my poem was written about my self-doubt when it comes to a whole host of things, yet stemmed from interacting with people (something I try to avoid because of the spiral afterwards) I have a whole host of history with my self-doubt when it comes to writing.
I even started writing a post with the intention to delve into it in-depth, for myself as much for anyone else. A chance to exorcise some demons, so to speak. But I find the topic so uncomfortable that the Word document sits open but with little more than a few paragraphs to it.
So, am I afflicted with self-doubt when it comes to writing?
Yes. Massively so. So much so that after publishing my indie book I took it from advertising, put it to $0.99 (I couldn’t set it to free), and hoped it would just linger in the abyss rather than anyone read it. When people asked what it was called I said I didn’t want them to read it, when a friend who had read it asked if he could share it on his twitter account (where there were people who once knew me) I said no. When mixed reviews came in, despite knowing that I fucked up on advertising (I advertised a fantasy as an urban fantasy) and that everyone has their own preferences, I allowed negative reviews to lead my own thoughts on the book and dismissed positive.
It was as though I was looking for justice to hate my work and I had found it. I both wanted people to read and enjoy my book and wanted to remove its existence from Amazon. I fluctuated on this here and there and eventually just left it alone, where it sits now. I still check it on goodreads and amazon, but it’s a negative feeling, as though I’m picking at a scab and not allowing the wound to heal.
That’s where blogging comes in. Blogging is freedom. Blogging is no drafting, no editing, no more than I ever feel like I might want to, and blogging is liberating because I write here without any doubt. Well, hardly any doubt. The odd thing though? I prefer my blog to not grow. I don’t want thousands of followers. That would be intimidating, and I know myself, I shy away from the spotlight. No matter how much at times I might convince myself I want it.
And, as anyone who has followed me for some time will know, I whine and moan and bitch on here and I write things that are embarrassing to remember having written. It can be like the morning after an intoxicated night and thinking back “did I really say that?” But that’s how I like it. This blog was never here to entertain others or to promote myself, it was here as a blog. As a virtual diary where people can come and go, if they so please. It encompasses all of me, I suppose.
I believe I come back to my blog whenever I seek courage to begin writing fiction again. It serves as both practice writing and practice in posting what I write. And, that is exactly what I am doing now. I want to begin writing fiction again, telling stories, and publishing them and advertising them for others to read. So, this is what I do about the self-doubt that afflicts my writing: I write posts I don’t care about. I practice in different arenas. The same way a comedian might trial their material in a small club before they take it to the big stage, I suppose that would be a way of expressing what I am doing here.
There is much more to all of this, including why I believe I harbour so much self-doubt in my writing and what fuels that fire into an important existence. For now, I hope the above few paragraphs answer the questions that were asked. I’m grateful for the prompt because it opened the door for me to begin talking about this, after putting it off for so long.
I hope you’re all well.