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Self-doubt Tuesday -- 03.24.05
Who doesn't have their moments in which they doubt the thing they do best? I went to sleep last night with the upsetting doubt that I can't write for shit. Woke up with that same doubt. Now I'm here writing this wondering if it sounds like something completely stupid, and horrible. Doubt creeps into my writing when I read something I wrote long ago. I did that last night, and now I'm paying for it. Did I mention that I'm my own worst critic? I don't think I've liked anything I've written.

Check that, I like everything I write, until I go back and read it late. I think to myself, "I could write that a million times better now." It's a crazy thought that can only be called self-defeating. Doubt crawls into my thoughts and then I wonder if I shouldn't just give up on this whole book idea, on the whole notion that I can write. Yeah, I might be hard on myself, but that's because I read such great works and I envy their quality. I know that quality like that doesn't come from just sitting down to write. It comes from thought, a lot of drafts, and countless hours spent rewriting everything.

I so wanted to write today, but then I have this nagging doubt that everything I write is crap. It probably is, even when I think it's good. See, see what I mean? This doubt has to take a powder. To know me is to know someone who has no doubt in his writing abilities. I'll misspell a word on occasion, but I never doubt the fact that I can write something that is entertaining, and good.

But I've yet to write something for the ages. Something akin to what I have read. That great work that isn't just put on some shelf, and never read. But something that gains a following. Something that's talked about eons after I'm gone. Something that's studied, looked over with a fine tooth comb for some hidden meaning. I'm going to tell you right now, most of the time I don't give a hidden meaning a single thought. I'm too busy trying to figure out the meaning, let alone a hidden one.

Take this entry for instance. How much would I love it if this was something grand, and not a bitchfeat. I could have spent my time writing a masterpiece, rather than writing about my self-doubts. It's a total waste of time. You know what it is... I'm a perfectionist. There is a part of me that doesn't want to start ANYTHING because of the doubt that it won't come out right. That is such a huge fear of mine. Anything that I embark on has to be something that is worthwhile, challenging, and spectacular. Is it any wonder that I don't want to start certain projects, because maybe I know deep down inside I don't have that kind of ability.

But the other side of the coin is that deep down inside I know that I do have that kind of ability. It's a strange feeling to be confident in one's abilities, while also doubting you have any. All right, it's time to stop this self-doubting, and get to business.

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