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Writer's Station > Anyone doubt their abilities as a writer?

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message 1: by Yordan (new)

Yordan Zhelyazkov (yordanzh) | 18 comments Thanks for that, I'll definitely give it a look these days! :)


message 2: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 28 comments Any author who doesn't doubt their ability as a writer is either on the Steven King gravy train (where they make money no matter what they write)...or is self-delusional. And I suspect the former are also the latter.


message 3: by Feliks (last edited Jan 29, 2015 09:17AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) I don't think it's as gloomy as all that. I've been writing all my life; its my #1 skill. I'm never in doubt about it. Could I be better? Or could I be more prolific? Sure.

Do I doubt that I have anything really 'important' or 'noble' to convey? Yes. Do I doubt that I have anything uplifting or elevating to contribute? Certainly. I'm no sage. I have no answers.

Do I doubt that my latest effort-in-progress is viable? Am I doing a good job, or am I off on a dead-end? Is my latest assignment lacking depth, metaphor, smoothness? Do I doubt whether I will ever be a success as a writer?

Yes, these various 'passing' doubts worry me. But they don't stop me or make me question my long-term habit of being a writer. I never doubt my vocabulary, or my ability to construct sentences.

I would say I mistrust the reading audience today, far more than I doubt myself. I will likely never make any good impression on louts who 'txt' their idiotic lives away.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic | 129 comments Confidence in one's ability and skill level is essential to success in any endeavor. Self-doubt can inhibit one from eventually reaching one's full potential. However, confidence should always be tempered with modesty to prevent it from evolving into over confidence. Arrogance and bravado are occasionally mistaken for confidence. They are not the same thing.


message 5: by Micah (last edited Jan 29, 2015 12:04PM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 28 comments But self-doubt is also essential in learning to self-edit. Confidence without self-doubt is narcissism and egotism. Self-doubt without confidence is stifling. The important thing is to be confident that you can tell a good tale, yet self-doubting enough to not trust everything you write.

You could also call this kind of self-doubt humility or self-awareness...but it comes down to the same thing: trusting yourself to NOT always be the genius your mum told you were when you were seven.

For example, I self-doubted myself enough just now to make sure I spell checked this post...and then made the required edits!


message 6: by Jim (last edited Jan 29, 2015 03:30PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 129 comments We should always recognize, acknowledge, and realistically evaluate our weaknesses and limitations, but should never doubt or underestimate our strengths and capabilities. Self-confidence, tempered by modesty, cannot be equated with arrogance, bravado, or narcissism. Ego is what distinguishes oneself from others. Egotism is conceit.


message 7: by Jim (last edited Jan 30, 2015 10:01AM) (new)

Jim Vuksic | 129 comments Feliks wrote: "I don't think it's as gloomy as all that. I've been writing all my life; its my #1 skill. I'm never in doubt about it. Could I be better? Or could I be more prolific? Sure.

Do I doubt that I have ..."


Felix,

I have read enough of your comments in various discussion groups, including the one from which you were banned*, to know that the level of self-confidence in your abilities and skills would have easily matched that of General George S. Patton's.

*By the way, I was also banned from the same group shortly after you were. So it must be true that great minds think alike, or sometimes, even average minds.


message 8: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Hughes (jdhughes) | 13 comments I never doubt my abilities as a writer whilst I'm writing, but only when I read back what I've written. At this point all doubts can be removed by the (quite worn) delete button on the laptop.


message 9: by Yordan (new)

Yordan Zhelyazkov (yordanzh) | 18 comments I'm going to (roughly) quite Roland Barthes on the subject of writer's doubt:
"You should always trust yourself but you should also always distrust your work."

Meaning that if you don't trust yourself, then you won't be able to write well enough because of writer's blocks, low self-esteem etc etc. But if you don't distrust your work, then you won't put enough effort in it out of arrogance and high self-esteem and will end up with a crappy result.

I personally doubt both myself and my writings usually, which is obviously a problem but ... well, I'm working on it.


message 10: by Rena (new)

Rena Sherwood (renasherwood) | 7 comments Do I doubt my abilities as a writer? ALL THE TIME. I'm never sure if I'm wasting my time or not. And yet I find myself writing anyway, even after I've decided to give the whole thing up.


message 11: by Feliks (last edited Apr 05, 2015 07:26PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) For me, it's like asking if I doubt how skillfully I breathe. Do I need to be a better breather? Have I not been breathing right all my life? Is there a bootcamp I can take to breathe better? Since I write what I have experienced and felt, how can it be 'better'? Better for whom? My writing suits me, because it is me.


message 12: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Feliks wrote: "For me, it's like asking if I doubt how skillfully I breathe. Do I need to be a better breather? Have I not been breathing right all my life? Is there a bootcamp I can take to breathe better? Since..."

+1000000


message 13: by C.M. (new)

C.M. Halstead (cmhalstead) | 2 comments I think we all do! All good ones have that skeptic in their brain.... I have the one in my brain, it keeps me focused and honest. Although when I am in the initial creative stage, I kick him, him being the critic and judger, I kick him out of the room. There is no room for that in the creative stage. that comes about 3 edits later for me.


message 14: by J M (new)

J M Shorney (jmshorney) | 6 comments I have self-doubts on occasions. When I first started self publishing
I was scared my first review would be awful. It wasn't,it was pretty good. But I don't believe in being complacent..I rely on and trust my editor. He's my mentor and guide. He'll shred my book to pieces before he'll let it see daylight if he doesn't like it.
Self-doubt can be inhibiting. The destroyer of confidence...


message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic | 129 comments Recognizing specific areas in need of improvement is not the same as self-doubt. One should never doubt one's ability to continuously improve upon any activity. Self-confidence is a key ingredient for achieving success.


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