Self-Doubt is Pizza

As writers, doubt sneaks up on us at the worst of times. We all deal with it at one point or another. Well, unless you're that one person on the planet who experiences no moments of uncertainty and has complete confidence in your abilities. If you're that one person, I envy you. Maybe it wouldn't take me so long to finish a zero draft. (I'm borrowing that term from author Lili St. Crow. Clever, isn't it? It sucks so bad it doesn't even qualify as a first draft).

I think of self-doubt like a pizza. Odd, I realize, but let me explain. Pizza isn't the greatest food to indulge in, right? You eat too much of it, eventually you'll see it in the mirror. But it's hard to say to no that third or fourth piece, so hard. (For me, at least. I dearly hope I'm not alone.) You think about it, you waver. You have to make a choice.

Same goes with self-doubt. There's no way we're going to avoid it completely - pizza will always be around, and it's so dang delicious - but we can make that choice not to let it control us. We can give those extra pieces a firm rejection.

All right, I'll drop the pizza metaphor. I'm losing my train of thought.

Point is, doubt isn't something we have no control over. When you're writing, and that creeping, sick feeling comes over you - oh, god, I can't do this, I suck, I suck - press on. Ignore it. Easier said than done, but it is possible. Keep writing. Whenever I do this, I eventually write a sentence or a scene where I think, pleasantly surprised, Hey, that's kind of good. That sense of reward utterly crushes the self-doubt. For a while, at least. It's a vicious cycle, but this cycle needs to keep moving in order for us to finish the book, to reach our goals. I realize I sound like an inspirational infomercial, but what can you do?