Big City > Little Girl?…

I think every now and then, we need to be reminded of both how big and how small the world is.

I have to admit, this being a blog where I’ve always told things how they are instead of trying to make things perfect, I’ve been having some doubt in my writing lately.

I don’t want to say I was overly confident when I moved here, because I’m never overly confident. But I was pretty solid in my belief that I was a good writer and that I could make it in a place like this. There’s still a part of me that believes this—but there’s a part that doesn’t, too.

Yonkers-20110924-00093After spending a month going to class and seeing how many writers there are here and how many want to make it, I am overwhelmingly thankful that I have had the opportunities in life I’ve had. In a way, I didn’t realize how lucky I was to end up with a great publisher like Guideposts—or even a publisher at all. Not to mention my agent who took me on when I was still a seventeen year old kid.

Self-doubt is a funny thing. Especially when you’re doubting the very thing that defines who you are and what your passionate about. Self-doubt has fueled works like T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

And yet, if we doubt ourselves too much, then nothing gets on the page. Life doesn’t get lived. You play it safe and nothing seems real.

My mother and I stood at the top of the Rockefeller Center the first few days I was here. She shook her head as we peered out at the endless city lights.

“Such a big city for a little girl,” she said.

I thought she was going to do the typical mother-thing. Maybe play with my hair and ask if I really wanted to do this. But she had more to say,

“Kick its ass.”

Have you ever had self-doubt in your writing or in your art? How do you overcome it?

♪ Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know (Bonus Track Version) – I Was Just a Card ♪

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6 thoughts on “Big City > Little Girl?…

  1. Wow, what a mom! We are blessed each day, in so many ways!
    I doubt my writing all the time, but post it anyhow. 🙂 These things we do, hoping to get noticed. I enjoyed your post.

  2. Is it possible for any artist..or human being rather…to not experience self-doubt at some point? I think it’s a normal part of our self-evolutionary process. A little self-doubt can op doors to exploration, growth, acceptance of constructive criticism…evolution. Unfortunately there are other things that can creep in when those doors are open, such as fear, paralysis, confusion and the like. Trick is to acknowledge them then kick them back outside as fast as you can! Ultimately, your mom’s advice is the best advice…just get out there and kick it’s ass, whatever “it” may be. Balls out. 🙂

  3. Gooo, Mom! And you better do what your mama said!
    I always doubt myself. Every time I write something, I say, “Well… This could have been a lot better. Oh, well. *saves/enters/posts*” At least I’m past the point of never doing anything with things I write because I don’t think they’re good enough. I go all the way anyway.

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