A prerequisite to being a writer is this: you must have some significant level of self-doubt or insecurity. You must question your ability to mold words into a thought-provoking sentence. Everything you write is up for criticism by you.
I often think to myself: This is crap. What am I writing? That doesn’t sound good. No one is going to “get” that. What I am I doing here and where the hell are my pants? Is it necessary to wear pants here? Is there a dress code? Who invited me anyway? It was probably a mistake. I got the invitation by accident. The mail-person put it in the wrong box. It was for apartment #2.
Despite the fact that I am painfully insecure and I’m always concerned that you’re staring at the yogurt stain on my shirt, I keep writing anyway. I think about the novels I’ve read with insecure protagonists. There are so many of them. It must be a thing. Writers doubt themselves, their words, their talent, their ability to create a mood, a scene or tell a compelling story.
That’s me. I’m in the abyss of self-doubt, because I don’t know what to say, so I’m saying that. I’m not going to sit here and fake it. I’m not going to try to think of something funny to say or write a thought-provoking article because I don’t have anything in my brain right now.
I admit that I’m insecure, because I know that there are other writers out there who feel the same way. I close my eyes and jump in my writing. I fake being brave. When in reality, I’m terrified of what people are thinking when they’re reading my words.
If you thought everything you wrote was amazing, then you wouldn’t try to write anymore. There are more stories in me and there are more stories in you. We can be insecure and profound at the same time. We can doubt every single word that graces the page and still send a message home.
Self-doubt is normal in writing. The goal (for me) is to keep writing despite the voice that tells me that what I’m putting out there isn’t worth saying. So if you’re writing something now and you’re thinking to yourself: this is awful, you’re not alone. I’m right there with you.