I’m gutted I missed week five of Quote Quest. I could have written a tome about self-doubt and how it affects my writing. Since this is my blog, I will write about that. 😉
The prompt is: “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath
Self-doubt is a nemesis of mine. In fact, for one of the two stories that I’ve recently written, (a fan-fic piece for the Becky Embers’ site,) I am second-guessing the plotline. Also, I’m querying the motivations of the characters, as I’m trying to follow a ‘brief,’ whilst giving it my ‘mark’.
I asked Mr Bunny for some feedback. He said it was “written alright so far.” I’ve now finished the story and submitted it. There was no more feedback from Mr Bunny, and I’ve not heard from Becky either. Mr Bunny’s feedback didn’t help my serious case of self-doubt. I’m not saying this to cast any blame, as that’s not fair. In my over-analytical head, I ended up with more questions than answers. Such is often the case in life!
The other story causing me self-doubt is a slightly lengthier piece that is to go with some video content. Without giving too much away, the type of video I’m attempting to write for is open to interpretation. There could be any number of possibilities for a potential ‘back-story’. I want to get the piece written, so I can submit it. Then I’ll hold my breath to see if it’s deemed worthy of publishing. I can now say, that I have finally submitted the second story. Hurrah! I am waiting for the editor’s comments.
One snippet of insight that Mr Bunny did give me, wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to hear. But I needed to hear it. I’m my own worst enemy because I am such a procrastinator. I’ve even been using our large garden as an excuse to ‘not’ write. I’ll freely admit I’m not much of a gardener. But at least with something physical like that, I see instant results. Granted, it’s a never-ending process. There’s always weeding to do. Then there’s the actual plant itself, with its growth to encourage. Some growth needs redirection, whilst others need to be kept at bay.
However, I can see it, and it‘s tangible. The garden looks tidier to me as a result. In Mr Bunny’s eye’s, I’ve hacked back a load of tomato plants that I simply grew too many of in the first place. *Wry smiles*. Gardening in a sense is kind of like writing. You can prune some words out here or there. Or remove a cutting if you wish to, and transplant it to another location. But if the original ‘seed’ is a duff one, no amount of TLC will nurture that plant to get it to grow fruitfully. As with writing, if the plot or characters just don’t work from the offset, the whole story is going to come off as whimsical/trite or some other kind of wrong.
I believe that my self-doubt stems from ingrained low self-esteem. I was not overly encouraged by my parents or family. As the elder of two children, I was told that I wouldn’t be praised, so as not to give my younger sibling a ‘complex.’ Or that has really done is ironically give me a complex that I’m mediocre at best, and not good-enough at worst.
I’m the only person from my ‘blood’ family to go to University and graduate with not just a BSc but also an MSc. Honestly, I’m proud of that, especially seeing as I was told I wouldn’t cope with going to University by one of my parents. All that instilled in me was that they were projecting their limiting beliefs onto me. The reality was that they couldn’t cope with emigrating to another country. They ended up ‘yo-yo-‘ing our family unit across the globe multiple times over a decade.
Now that I’m well into my adult life, I know it’s up to me to turn events around, to make it what I want. From my acceptance and commitment therapy, I’m learning that I need to show myself and others more compassion. I attempt to celebrate my little one’s achievements. She needs encouragement to grow. Not a Victorian approach of telling her she’ll never amount to anything. That will only become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When she tells me what she wants to do when she ‘grows up,’ I tell her “of course you can, my darling!” I believe, she will.