"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt". (Measure For Measure, Act I, Scene IV).
Do you doubt yourself as a writer?
Most writers do. Writing is a career in which you're constantly starting afresh — you're always looking at a blank page (or computer screen.)
Doubt strikes all writers, whether experienced or new, and never goes away. However, as you become more experienced, you start to recognize doubt as simply "doubt", and you pay less attention to it. You know doubt for what it is, and give it far less weight.
How do you handle doubt?
One of my favorite Shakespearean quotes gives a clue:
If you acknowledge that fear's the problem, you can work with it.
Here's an exercise I find useful. I often give it to my writing students.
Start by admitting to yourself that you're scared.
Next, complete this sentence: "What really scares me is________"
Write as much, or as little, as you please. You'll be surprised at what you write, and you'll come to understand yourself a little more. Usually, what you're scared of is the last thing you'd expect. This is because your creative self tends to be child-like (rather than childish.)
Now you can be gentle with yourself. 🙂
Although the exercise is very simple, it's powerful, and will unlock your creativity. You'll find that if you do the exercise regularly, writing becomes much more fun for you, and you'll write more.
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Angela Booth is a copywriter, author published by major publishers, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills at her online store. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her novels and business books have been widely published.