Hello, Doubt, my old friend. I see you’ve come to talk with me again.
Doubt always sits in the back of my mind. And if I am to be honest, doubt is the reason for much of my procrastination when starting a new story.
At the moment, I’m in between projects. I’ve just finished writing my latest and have sent it out into the world of agents and publishers awaiting acceptance or rejection. I have plotted my next story, all I have to do is write it. And this is when the doubt comes flooding in. Can I write this? Really, can I? Will I do it justice? Will it turn out how it appears in my mind?
I’m not new to this writing game. I started writing eight years ago and have been published for a little over three years. I have written eight full-length novels, three novellas and a bunch of short stories. Recently, I completed a creative writing Masters degree. So, what’s with the doubt already?
Thankfully, I’ve enough experience to know that doubt is a part of the process. Just like that tingly, elated sensation that rockets through my body when I conceive a great story idea. And it’s like that mid-story procrastination that inevitability comes where I’ve sometimes left a manuscript, midway, for months on end. It’s just one of the barriers that must be pushed through. And I know by now that busting through doubt is possible every single time.
How? How do I bust through doubt?
It’s quite simple really. I ignore the thoughts that tell me I can’t. And I start. The value of starting something can be highly underrated. Starting is an ending. An ending of procrastination, of doubt, of holding back, of disallowing, of panic, and of self-criticism. It’s the ending of that moment where you think you ‘can’t do it’, and shifts it into ‘am doing it.' Might all sound airy-fairy, but it’s not. Starting has power. So can doubt, if you let it.
Cheers, Jacquie xx