Sunday, 25 October 2015

Self-doubt and Inspiration

SELF-DOUBT

I can't do this.
I can't do this.
I can't do this.

We've all heard that voice in our head. I know I have. When you don't have confidence in yourself, the voice is sometimes all you hear. You wake up and you hear it. You even hear it just before you go to bed. The problem: you believe the voice's message, even though it's not true.

I'm here to tell you...you CAN do this. Whatever this is, you ARE capable. You ARE talented. You DO have something to offer.

Trust me, I know. Over the last five years, I've gone from a safe, well-paying job as a financial auditor to a fulltime career as an Indie author where most of the time I don't have the slightest idea how much my next paycheck will be and whether it will cover the rent. And, yes, there's plenty of self-doubt. Not just at the beginning, when I'd sold zero books and wondered whether I'd ever sell any; now, too, after selling more than 60,000 books, publishing 23 novels, obtaining a literary agent, inking an audiobook publishing deal, and having one of my series listed on Buzzfeed as one of "15 Series to Read if You Enjoyed The Hunger Games."

Despite all of the success I've had, my agent and I haven't been able to land the elusive traditional publishing deal that's been my goal since the moment I wrote my very first word.

I can't do this.
I can't do this.
I can't do this.

The voice is relentless sometimes, but I refuse to listen to it, refuse to succumb to the temptation to give in, to say "You're right," to stop writing and get a more sensible job doing something I hate. Because you know what? The voice IS WRONG, just like the voice in your head, the one telling you to doubt yourself.

You CAN do this. And here's how:

INSPIRATION

Inspiration is out there, in the experiences we have, in the people we meet, in the sunrise and sunset and the rain. It's in the words we hear, the thoughts we think, in the way our children play. And guess what? Inspiration is the key to defeating self-doubt. Although the source of our individual inspiration changes over time (as often as daily sometimes), it is like building a soundproof room around your brain, where the nagging voice of self-doubt can't be heard. When you're feeling inspired, nothing else will matter except taking that inspiration, listening to its message, and letting it drive you to greatness.

Find your source of inspiration. Write it down. Keep a list of the things that inspire you, whatever they may be. And when that voice comes a-knocking, go back to your list and build your soundproof wall. You'll be amazed at the results.

#GetInspired

6 comments:

  1. Such wise words David, I really enjoyed reading this post since I have recovered from bad times but I still have that voice in my head sometimes. I especially liked the inspiration section of the post and wanted to know what inspires so I can get an idea of what might inspire me. I also have a question... What do you do when you are having a writer's block? Great Post :)

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    1. Thanks very much, Tanya, I appreciate your kind words :) I'm generally inspired by meeting new people and experiencing new things. So whenever I feel in need of inspiration, I put myself in situations that may be outside of my comfort zone, so that I can learn something new. I also think it helps to be actively seeking inspiration, which really helps me concentrate on the details of the places I see and the people I meet. I pay attention to details, just in case the things I see end up in one of my future books!

      In terms of writer's block, I'm very fortunate that I don't really get writer's block. I think this is mostly because of my writing process, which is to write every single day (which keeps me in the right mindset), and to finish each writing session with a brief planning session for the next writing session. That way I can hit the ground running the next day. It works for me, although each writer needs to find the process that works for them. Another method of beating writer's block is to write what you feel the most inspired to write. Sometimes that may mean skipping around in the storyline, but it helps, at least for me. For example, if I'm struggling with the middle part of the book, I might skip to the end and write the climax and falling action, and then go back and write the rising action.

      Hope this helps and best of luck!

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  2. David, it would be a terrible thing if you listened to that voice! Whether you land that elusive deal you want or not, its hard for me to imagine a world without your books, your characters, and your beautiful, and just plain entertaining writing! Us readers need writers like you, the kind that don't conform to the masses, and write because they love it, and are good at it. Every time you hear that voice, just remember you've got a LOT of readers and friends who are saying, "YES YOU CAN!"

    I think you are right, everyone feels this way at some point. Inspiration is not hard to find, if you look at all! This is an amazing and beautiful world we live in. Unless you're living under a rock and never come out, inspiration is everywhere!

    Really really great post. I loved reading it :)

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    1. Thanks Jenny!! Don't worry, I definitely hear YOUR voice and the voices of my readers. They ring loud and true and remind me to never give up and to write FOR THEM, for MY FAMILY, and for MYSELF :)

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