Sunday, April 25, 2010

Self-Doubt and Pep Talks

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath

Sometimes there’s a sneaky dark mass that sits in the corner as I write. It slithers to my desk and whispers discouragement in my ear. It climbs into the car with me for a ride to the library, or Starbucks, or wherever I write. Then it taps me on the shoulder like an incessant child.

“Excuse me. EXcuse me. EXCUSE me. Who do you think you are anyhow? You’re not up to par, you know. You have a lot to learn and a far, faaaaar way to go. You can’t really do this. That’s a really dumb idea. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Why don’t you just give up silly girl with silly dreams. Girl, puulease.”

This is the voice of self-doubt and it tries to sink its slimy talons into me when I write, or before I write, or even after I write. It’s mean. It’s ugly.

Okay, so I told self-doubt to bite me after I got pep talks from a few invaluable writer friends. They know what it’s like. They have to tell self-doubt to bite it, too. It comes with the writing territory. Hmmm. This could be one reason some writers get tipsy.

I called a writing friend and emailed another. I shared my fears, my doubts, my growing frustrations.

They cheered me on.

“I have a lot to learn myself. Glad to know I’m not the only one. You’ll get there. You just started this journey, don’t be impatient! My time will come when it’s the right time and so will yours. Keep your chin up.”

Thanks for the encouragement, my friends. I’m going to believe that now and get out the artillery. One moment please.

I’ve just channeled Lara Croft then kicked some self-doubt butt. He’s wounded and wrangled and tied up at the moment. I can be one tough chica—with a little help from my friends. I’m going to write now—before the sorry sucker squirms loose.

Call me if you need a pep talk. I’ll loan you a weapon.


  1. Kim- You are awesome! Like the quotes. :) Go kick some self-doubt butt then get back to writing!

  2. Thanks, Sara! Those quotes are brilliant. My friends rock!!!

  3. Wonderful post, Kim. You just spoke to the doubt in all of us. Thank you for the pep talk.

    God Bless,

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Susan.