It’s been difficult not to lose faith recently. In myself. In the world. In the people in the world. All of it.
My faith in my writing abilities regarding self-doubt is a constant battle for me. Despite a blog where I’m incredibly thrilled people actually like what comes out of my head, every time I get to the keyboard, I feel like I have to put on a mental suit of armour for another day of fighting doubt.
I’ll be candid in admitting, that self-doubt has held me back a lot over the last couple of years. Bit by bit, my confidence has grown again. Nine months after a mental breakdown I began a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, which given the circumstances is bloody miraculous. A year later I graduated just two marks short of the equivalent of a First Class Honours. I’m incredibly proud of this and that year learning and back at university, really helped me in both my personal and writing confidence.
But it’s still a battle. That part of yourself we all have, that metaphorical devil on your left shoulder telling you can’t do something because who the hell would want to read what you have to say? Erotica, personal essay, short story, self-doubt never ceases an opportunity, however great or small, to make itself known. It’s shit. Don’t bother. You’ll never succeed as a writer. Blah…bla-blah…bla-blah…
But for me, with every word I write, however good or absolutely bloody diabolical, is a thwack over the head of self-doubt. Writing, I find a joy for my insatiable need for a creative outlet, and a healing tool for the tough times when it calls for it. I adore writing and creating new worlds and characters. It’s in my bones, a part of my makeup. It’s as natural to me as my having naturally brown hair and green eyes. If I didn’t do it or couldn’t, in some shape or form, I’d feel miserable to say the least. There’d be a void, a hollowness inside me that could never be replaced, except with more stories to create. To write is not only part of living life, but to live many lives in a way (I can’t remember which writer said that, but they hit it right on the head) through your characters and the worlds you create. So I have to remind myself of that every time I feel like giving up.
That and ‘Oh, fuck off, you incessant little twat’ whenever self-doubt tries to swoop in like it owns the place.