Today I was thinking about something everyone should have in their toolbox every day. Something that is actually a huge part of finishing a book – or anything else that pulls you Out Of Your Comfort Zone.
Today’s tool is Confidence!
I don’t think there is a writer out there that doesn’t have a crisis of faith in their ability at some point just about every time they write a book. I’ve even heard some best-selling writers say they have extreme doubts at times when writing. For example, they think that they don’t have another book in them, or that this book will never be as good as their last… I’m sure there are a number of others, but let’s face it best-selling authors are not reading this blog – Yet. (Hey, was that some confidence leaking out?). I was just trying to make a point that no writer is doubt free. The truth is, they shouldn’t be. How would you ever improve and grow if you thought everything you wrote was great one-hundred percent of the time?
But. I do think it’s important not to let doubts paralyze you. Having confidence to move forward when the doubts begin to take over is the key to reaching for your dreams, whatever those dreams may be. You can’t get there if you never finish the book, the art project, the college course, the race, the quilt, the … whatever, because those damn doubts have thrown you off track. Doubts and confidence crises are probably true in life in general, but artists are often the most riddled with angst about whatever their creating. They tend to be dramatic and emotional. Or is that just me?
So what can you do about it? Well, if you read my blog last week you know I believe a support system is super helpful. Really zooming in on when those doubts occur, and maybe even pinpointing why, is a great way to combat the doubting vultures flying overhead and waiting to swoop down and dump uncertainties all over you.
I’m sure for everyone that fear strikes at a different time. For example, I absolutely love beginning a new book. So full of possibilities and promise! For some, like my pal Lora, it’s at or near the beginning of the book that the doubts take over. When you’re terrified to start because what if you can’t do it? For some it might be the middle because you think it’s sagging, or you think maybe you’re missing something. Others might be like me and get paralyzed with reservations toward the end.
It’s taken me until my current WIP to figure out when doubts actually happen in my process. While not immediately helpful this time, the knowledge will help me next time. And, I have more confidence now knowing how to slay the doubting vultures. I hope you can figure out your “when” because knowing when to expect it will help you make a plan to deal with it when it comes. It might be difficult to figure out why it strikes at that time in the process. You might be thinking it would be easier to just walk away from the particular book because there is probably a better one to write right around the corner. But I can almost guarantee the same thing will happen again, so just battle your way though it this time and come up with a plan to diminish it next time. When do your doubting Vultures attack and what have you done to slay them at this point?