My thinking is that a LOT can happen.
Imagine if for once you got out of your own way, because that's what self-doubt is when you boil it down. It’s you getting in your own way, sabotaging yourself just because you need validation. Trust me, I get it. I’m not bashing it or saying you aren’t allowed. Self-doubt happens and it’s awful, but getting past it is not a mythical slaying of a dragon every time. It can be that at time. But sometimes it’s as simple as just doing what you have to do.
Example 1: You want to publish a book but worry you’re not good enough.
Ok, first off, delete the second half of that sentence and focus on “You want to publish a book.” What do you want to write? Why do you want to write it? Be clear and honest with your answers. No use lying to yourself. You want to make money? You want to be famous? Then there are things you can write that will either cater to the market or you can foresee what you think will be popular in 1-3 years’ time. Want to write something unique? Then the answer shall be different. Afterwards, decide if you want to outline your novel or full on do it pantser style. WARNING: being a pantser is not a bad thing but brings its own sets of challenges. Outlining and planning isn’t a guarantee but often allows you to get on with the writing quicker because you know where you’re going. So you know what you want to write and why, now get on to writing, but while you do that, also identify how you will get a cover on the book once it’s finished. You can either pay someone a decent amount of cash, pay less money for a pre-made cover, or you can even take a stab and do it yourself. These are all options, but just make sure that the end product justifies your decision. My recommendation is to save money up and pay an artist for a proper cover. It’s worth the investment. But it's your decision. After that, separate time for writing and then do the writing. Also, TRANSCRIBE WHILE YOU WRITE (unless you’re writing directly into the computer). I wrote that in caps based off my experience with my first novel. 164K words and I transcribed once I’d finished… not fun. Not smart. Not efficient. Not recommended. 😊Get that first draft done. Leave it alone for one week. Read it. Tweak what you feel needs tweaking. Then try and get beta readers. This is easier said than done but I recommend it based off my experience. Beta readers made my last book SO much better and you know why? Because I paid attention to what they had to say. Some adjustments were small, some suggestions would have changed the nature of the book. Regardless of how big or small, I really read their insights and put in and took out what made sense. Then you have two options, either you self-publish or you start shopping around your manuscript. And that itself is a WHOLE other blog post, but if you do all this, you will have a book and how you go about publishing will suddenly be the next logical step.
This entire writing process can take weeks, months, or years, depending on how you write, how much you want to adjust and just your own particular writer journey. But it sounds like it’s a lot to do, right? Well that’s because there is and if you’re THAT busy and THAT engrossed in what you’re doing, then maybe, just maybe you’ll not leave enough space for self-doubt.
You see that’s what I do. MY mechanism to cope with self-doubt is to create and to always have something in the pipeline because it takes the energy I have available and puts it to good use. I’ve published 13 books in the last 5 years. I’ve written poetry, non-fiction, middle-grade fantasy, and urban fantasy novels. I’ve written in English and Spanish and I have seen first-hand the power of channeling my energy positively. You have to think emotions and energy in terms of pressure. If there’s a steam leak, someone can get hurt, injured, or the machinery will not work. However, if the pipeline is sound and the pressure is focused, you can move a locomotive at amazing speeds.
That’s because you are a locomotive. You can be a highly focused piece of creative machinery. You are made to create and to be honest, you can doubt yourself all you want, but that will do nothing for you. If you use that angst, that frustration, that fear, that anger to create, well, then there’s no stopping you. So by all means, try believing yourself for once. No risk. No obligation. But truly believe in yourself with the same energy and consistency with which you doubt yourself and see what happens.
Peace, love, and maki rolls
Peace, love, and maki rolls