September 9, 2011

Knowing Others Struggle with Self-Doubt: Friday Feature

Self-doubt rears its ugly head when I least need it. I've been writing for years, but only been public about it for a year. I am 39 years old, and I still send almost every piece I write to my mom or husband to see what they think. I struggle with the is-it-good-enough syndrome. Even hitting the publish post button causes me angst.

What does this have to do with the best thing I read this week and our Friday feature? In the last few weeks, I wrote several guest post contributions, posted my first flash fiction piece, and wrote a very revealing article. I was drained. Each time I hit send and let the piece go, I cringed and wondered. Today, I stumbled upon an encouraging post by lovely Blogathon leader, Michelle Rafter: When it comes to story ideas, trust your gut.

In the post, Michelle talks about an idea she hesitated to pitch. At the last minute, she added it to a list of other pitches. Much to her surprise, her editor loved it. The post did well and was picked up by and later inspired a The Washington Post blogger to use it as a basis for a post. She trusted her gut.

This post came at the perfect time for me. Michelle is an amazing writer, and gives back so much to the writing community (like the amazing Blogathon). Yet, she still has moments of self-doubt.

I spoke of self-doubt in a recent article. A few weeks ago, I participated in a Coach Betty radio show about finding inner beauty. After the show, Betty asked if I would write an article about my feelings. I hesitated. The show was hard enough, could I pull off an intimate article about the experience?

Please take a moment to check out my Coach Betty article. It's raw and honest. She loved it. Guess we all can relate in some way to self-doubt. Now I just need to work on believing in myself. The worst you can ever hear is, "No." Not my favorite word, but I can handle it.

When did self-doubt threaten to overtake your plans? What did you do?


Michelle Rafter said...

Good for you Tia for overcoming your self doubt to write so openingly. I don't think writers every really get over self doubt because we deal in an industry where rejection is par for the course. But as someone once said to me, think of yourself as a salesperson. Does someone who sells clothes at Nordstrom, Oral B toothbrushes or John Deere harvesters take it personally when a potential customer says "No thanks?" No, it's part of the job. Well, it's part of our job took. Another way to think of it: an editor might reject your idea, but they're not rejecting YOU.

Michelle Rafter

Michelle Rafter said...

That should have been "openly."

Nicky LaMarco said...

Hi Tia!

Ah, self-doubt. What a pain in the ass it is. Without it, however, we wouldn't write well. It makes us strive for something better. Something above the rest.

Michelle is so right - trust your gut!

As your teacher I must advise to stop showing everything to your mom and husband. They can either drive you nuts or tell you everything is good. Neither one is beneficial to your writing career. Let them read it when it's published!


Tia Bach said...

Michelle, Thanks for stopping by. Your post was exactly what I needed! And I agree... rejecting an idea is not a rejection of the person. I reject my kids' ideas all the time. ;-)

Nicky, Old habits die hard. My mother is a writer and a good critic, but you are right... she's still Mom! The more I put out there, the more confident I feel.

Thanks, ladies. I value both of your input!

Elizabeth Mitchell said...

Hi Tia,
I've awarded you the Leibster Blog Award