“Self-doubt convinces us that our own failure is inevitable, an unavoidable recourse based on our own screaming lack of talent.”

Chuck Wendig wrote this post for writers, but I think it’s relevant to any kind of creative activity:

Suddenly Old Mister Doubt is jabbering in your ear.

You’re not good enough.

You’ll never make it, you know.

Everyone’s disappointed in you.

Where are your pants? Normal people wear pants.

…self-doubt is the enemy of the writer. It is one of many: laziness, fear, ego, porn, Doritos. But it is most certainly one of the worst, if not the worst, in the writer’s rogue gallery of nemeses.

3 thoughts on ““Self-doubt convinces us that our own failure is inevitable, an unavoidable recourse based on our own screaming lack of talent.”

  1. Stephen says:

    I wonder if self-doubt is a requirement for good writing. Some of the awful writers on Kindle seem to be blissfully free of it. I suppose that if you think everything you’ve written is garbage, it’s self-doubt, but if you recognise that some of your stuff is OK, then it’s just rewriting as normal…

  2. Gary says:

    I honestly don’t know. I suspect it’s about balance: you need a certain amount of ego to start it/ do it/ finish it /put it out there/ keep talking about it, but if there’s too much you’ll be a tit and if there’s too much self-doubt you’ll spend a lot of time being miserable and unproductive.

    Certainly if being a moany-faced misery means good writing, then my next book will be AWESOME :)

  3. Squander Two says:

    Same as every other endeavour, surely: people who aren’t good at their work lack the necessary amount of self-criticism to realise it. People who are good at their work typicaly don’t rate themselves that highly. Which is why promotions based on self-assessments are such a disaster.

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