I like to think of myself as a confident woman. I don’t really give many fucks about what people think of me. I dye my hair purple and wear Doc Martens boots to work, a very conservative office work environment. But when it comes to my writing and blogging, self doubt overwhelms me.
I love writing and blogging. I also don’t think I am particularly bad at it. I have received a lot of positive feedback on my writing throughout the years, from people who know what they are talking about. But yet, I still experience moments of intense self doubt. A voice in my head which tells me I am useless, far less successful than any other sex blogger out there. So useless at writing fiction that I may as well give up.
It got so bad over the last months that I gave up writing my novel altogether. What was the point? It was never going to be any good anyhow. I deeply regretted signing up for the Smut Marathon as I would be kicked out in the first round anyhow. I had to stay away from Twitter so I wouldn’t have to be reminded how less successful than anyone else I was. Every time a #SoSS post came up that didn’t link back to me, I felt it as more evidence that I was rubbish and shouldn’t bother writing anymore.
Of course, the more my brain told me I was rubbish, the harder it was to write, only reinforcing my own belief that I was rubbish at writing. This is not an uncommon occurrence for me. I am always able to pull myself out of the pit of self doubt and anxiety eventually, but I need to be very careful not to let anything trigger it again.
This time, a combination of helpful articles, the days getting longer and the weather being sunny allowed me to pull myself out of my pit of despair. It also helped that I didn’t finish completely last on the first round of the Smut Marathon. I was able to draft my piece for the second assignment for the Smut Marathon and what is more: I enjoyed writing it. I have started writing my novel again. But I still limit my exposure to Twitter so that anxiety doesn’t take hold of me again.
I am happy for my blogger friends’ successes. Their success does not mean my failure. We all live our lives on different timelines and just because I am not a published writer yet, or haven’t made money off my blog yet, doesn’t mean I might as well pack it up now. That is foolish. I go at my own pace. And if I don’t persist, I will never achieve my dream of being published. I can’t give up now, I have come too far. I just need to keep self doubt and anxiety at bay long enough to keep writing and blogging. And I am going to enjoy the journey. For, after all, the creative journey doesn’t have an end. Just a lot of stops where you may finish a project before going to the next one.