The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ––Sylvia Plath
Wow, but this is really hitting me right now. Self-doubt cripples your creativity, because you doubt that very creativity’s existence. Or its validity. And that makes for a self-fulfilling prophecy in that the doubted Muse deserts us, and we’re left alone with the blank page and our naked fears. Ugh.
And yet, we all doubt. Especially at the beginning, but sometimes even later, we doubt our ability to create this project, or to finish that book, or that our ideas will ever become as awesome as the things written by the authors we admire. We’ll never get published, and we’ll never get better and…the list goes on. And when we doubt, we hesitate.
Second quote: “He who hesitates is lost.”––Joseph Addison
Because in that hesitation, it’s easy to put aside the pen, turn off the computer, or just go surf the web or play video games instead. It can be hard to turn away from those activities and go back to doing something that made you feel “bad.” When you think you’re failing at something, our ego says it’s prudent to quit. Really, it’s just an opportunity to try harder, but we love to resist this idea.
Better to try differently. Write something different. If you write short stories, try flash. If you write flash, try something longer. Maybe even a poem. If you’re writing a novel, maybe a short piece of fiction can whet your appetite for writing again. Or, how about non-fiction (like this blog post)? Just find your joy, and your enthusiasm with re-emerge, trailing your missing confidence in its wake.