Blogging Insights – Self doubt and writing

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.

Arbie X

9 thoughts on “Blogging Insights – Self doubt and writing”

  1. I’m the kind of person who prefers staying in a cold corner away from the spotlight. Over the passage of time I’ve realised that life isn’t measured by the number of breathes we take, it’s measured by the number of lives we touch & Arbie words can be rather messengers of hope for a complete stranger, who may be going through a similar struggle. I respect your point of view that you don’t want to promote yourself ; but as a concerned follower all I hope is that you don’t restrict your true potential and deprive someone else of the gift of creativity that you possess. That being said don’t let self-doubt ever rattle you, because you owe this emotional therapy to yourself rather than to anyone else (says a man who has posted his old suicide note in the form of a poem for others to read & judge coz he didn’t care what others may think about it. I owed that emotional freedom to myself.😅)

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    1. Gosh, what you said at the end rings true in so many ways. I wrote “Those with the fear of drowning” when I was struggling with suicidal thoughts and posted it with some kind of “fuck it” mentality and morbid curiosity of what others might interpret from it. It is a strange emotional freedom, especially knowing that no matter how bad I feel right now, I’m at least no longer on that cliffs edge.
      I’d always hoped my writing (the happier stuff haha) might help someone in a dark place. When I first started showing signs of mental illness, and had no idea what was going on but lost all my social life, Terry Pratchett’s books really helped me – Wyrd Sisters if you know it. So you’re right, maybe what I write will help someone and if I can’t be brave enough for myself I should be brave enough for that imaginary person haha. Thank you for your comment! And I’m sorry April is an emotional time for you. Are you at any risk or are you safe?

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      1. I’m sorry to know that you went through such kind of dark times too. I’ll surely read that post of yours. I’m over it now, thank you for your concern. Poetry was my emotional therapy & as they say paper has more patience than people. I wrote this poem “The Knife” and the response I got really changed my perspective towards blogging and poetry. I realised that words have the power to build bonds. Thank you for this lovely conversation and I apologise if my upcoming poems are a bit dark and depressing ( April ushers in my share of summertime sadness haha). Appreciate your response and concern. Hope you inspire people with your poetic goodness. 🙂

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  2. I struggle with self doubt too. It’s effected my life in all sorts of negative ways, and there’s no one good way to deal with it. That being said, I feel like all creatives struggle with self-doubt when it comes to their work. It’s tough to put a piece of yourself out there and allow for others to judge you on it. I have similar struggles when it comes to my book. I try to be a little narcissistic when it comes to my own work though. When I read it, I try and tell myself that I’m at least as good as other more popular writers, even if it’s not true, it makes me feel good. Just know that we’re all in the same boat as writers.

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    1. I think that we have to at times know when we are right with something in our work, and that can come across as narcissistic too. I’ve dealt with different critiques, for example, and if I didn’t harbour that slight bit of arrogance then I’d change my writing at every readers whim. And, that is exactly a mistake I made with KDD. I trusted peoples opinions over my own. Now I read criticism but I trust my gut. That’s a little bit of arrogance that we need. As for thinking I’m at least as good as others, do you do that in a fake the feeling until you genuinely feel it type way? It’s something I’ve been told to do but whenever I do and it spurs me on a bit I end up feeling even more insecure haha. Stepping stones, I guess. We all have our journey to take and obstacles to cross. I’m glad you battle that self doubt and hope you continue to do so! Thank you for your comment. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I wouldn’t say that I ‘fake it til I make it’ so to speak. I just don’t usually remember writing most of the stories I have written. And when I am writing, I genuinely think that what I am writing is garbage. So when I read it, and it actually sounds decent, I’m content. When comparing my writing to others… Well, I read my own stuff as if it was written by someone else and that allows me to consider that, at least to some degree, I am on the same writing level as the more famous authors.

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