Just a Little Peccadillo

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — can you eliminate it?

I have my demons like most writers.  My quirks.  My peccadilloes.  The very fact that I’ve craved to use the word ‘peccadilloes’ in a sentence or phrase illustrates this very fact. And though I don’t sit in a darkened room talking to a raven, there are times where I’ve felt just that close.

What do I do each day that doesn’t contribute to my writing?  I’m going to go out on a limb and say I probably do something similar to many writers.  However, I will first digress here a moment and say I struggle with including myself in this group of ‘writers’.  I suppose I just see this as something other people do and something I hope to do someday.  However, I do know I have one thing in common with these other people, these writers.  And that is I doubt myself.  

Can this be eliminated?  Intellectually, I know that this can be eliminated.  Emotionally, I cling to fear and self-doubt like a woman clings to a size 2 after a News Year Resolution — she knows it’s probably not going to happen, but it doesn’t matter. In the heat of a sale anything can happen. 

Each day I attempt to write something I go to battle with the whispers in my head. They tell many assorted things that discourage me from writing.  The doubt begins to grow.  I close my laptop.  Talking to ravens is tempting.  I turn on the Food Network instead.  

When I talk to myself, it’s not pleasant.  I am not good company to myself.  I am not a nice a person.  Especially when it comes to talking to myself about writing.  I remind myself of all the things I have yet to finish and yet to begin.  I overwhelm myself.  I am overwhelming in general, but when I am the only audience member I can be like strong perfume in a small closet.  I concentrate so much energy in being positive and encouraging to others I have forgotten how to be that for myself.  I need to let go of fear and doubt, I realize this. This is not something I don’t know.  I know exactly what is not contributing to my work.  I know that holding on to the self-doubt is not helping me grow in “the craft” that is writing.  And I suppose I must revisit this concept of what exactly is a writer and why I do not see myself as one.  Yet this thought terrifies me, frankly, because if I am a writer and that Someday is Now, then what the hell will I do now that I’ve gotten here?

Truth be told, I really don’t know what to do once I realize that my Someday is Now.  However, I do know:

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer …
Merely this and nothing more.
~~~ Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”
C. Streetlights
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Published by C. Streetlights

I wrote and illustrated my first bestseller, "The Lovely Unicorn" in the second grade and I've been terrified of success ever since. Published by ShadowTeamsNYC and represented by Lisa Hagen Books

7 thoughts on “Just a Little Peccadillo”

  1. i had exactly the same reaction as deanna when i first announced (on facebook – from my livingroom) that i was a writer. cheeks burning, heart racing, palms sweating.

    what is up with that? we write our blogs – why on earth would we think we're not writers? because we're not "published" – i hit publish several times a week, so….

    just wanted to stop by and say you aren't alone in the self-doubt camp.

  2. Deanna says:

    The first time I publicly referred to myself as a writer I turned crimson with shame. I felt like I blatantly lied to someone I just met.

    Then someone wiser than I told me that it was as easy as making the decision. I am a writer because I said so. Its a label you give yourself. The fairy godmother of Art will not drop from the sky and anoint you a writer.

    Looking forward to reading more. #best09 was my favorite thing. #reverb10 is shaping up to be equally awesome.

  3. you are a writer. there, i said it for you. not the same i know, but it's a start.
    in my opinion, if you write, you are a writer. okay, you can get into all the distinctions abut whether or not you've been published, blah, blah, but not everyone writes for the same reason.
    what matters is that you write.
    we all have our doubts, it comes with the territory.
    but we grow into ourselves.

  4. I hear you about self-doubt – and then I re-read this post and I said (out loud – tho there were no ravens around to hear me) — This woman doubts herself? her writing?

    I am amazed (again) at how we all see ourselves so differently than others see us. Your writing is AWESOME! I'm so glad you share it!!!

    Speaking of amazed – how IS it that wholly jeanne has been here (and everywhere else) before me? lol.

  5. mark says:

    Self Doubt can be a real pain in the butt. There are times you just have to nod in the general direction of Self Doubt as if you're agreeing then trundle off and write something anyhow.

    It's like a muscle, the more you use it the better you get. The more you show Self Doubt it's wrong, the easier it becomes for you to just ignore it.

    Easier said than done, I realize.

  6. doubt. schmout. or, put another way, the blue bat swings in many different directions. i'm just sayin' . . .

    and oh, happy birthday again. xo

  7. Cindy says:

    Self-doubt is a biggie for most creative types, I think. Not just writers. I wish I could give you some advice, but I'm often in the same place you are.

    Congrats on joining #reverb10! I think it will be a great month for us creatives!

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