Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why Write? - Self-doubt, the Internet, and Big Fish

This may just be a function of myself, but lately the internet has filled me with doubt. I go online, and the anxiety produced from looking at anything that has any relevance to me is enormous. The knots in my neck are huge. I become nauseated. It's downright painful.

Perhaps it is fear of rejection, or fear I'm not doing things correctly. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I'm not doing enough. There is always someone online giving one more piece of advice which may or may not be accurate or even helpful. Still, the seeds of doubt are planted.

Whatever it is, the effect is paralyzing. I cannot bring myself to act because I find myself plagued by doubt. It's bad - very, very bad.

Some might be able to dust themselves off without regular affirmation. They might be able to come away with an unhealthy and unrealistic bravado. I am not one of those people. Yes, I continue to toil. I toil because I can do nothing else. Except for me, toiling is a double-edged sword. I feel euphoric in my creation. I love to create. I would do it if no one would ever see or hear what I produced. Then again, my secondary goal in writing is to be heard. I want people to read and love what I love - what I have created.

I realize now I must be my defender, my own advocate. It is a role I have rarely needed to play. I am so used to being a big fish in a little pond, the ocean is tremendously humbling. It is not enough to be a carp or a bass in my grandfather's pond. I must be a blue whale in the Pacific.

Even if I never become a blue whale (though I suspect with a bit of elbow grease it is quite possible), I will continue to create. I will continue to toil in my craft. It is this fact that sustains me when there are no affirmations.

I am a good writer. My stories are enjoyable romps through fantastic landscapes. When readers pick them up, they love them. The internet is powerless against these facts. That's enough.

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