Getting out of a tailspin

As a writer, you live in permanent self-doubt; you’re on permanent trial — Antonio Munoz Molina 

I don’t think I live in permanent self-doubt. That would be kind of depressing and soul crushing.

But like anybody else on this planet (minus the psychopaths, the sociopaths and other folks who are wired differently), I’ve had plenty of opportunity to get to know self-doubt better than I should. I suppose that’s what happens when a part of your life is devoted to the arts.

Last week, I was plagued by self-doubt for about 24 hours. Suffering through the 24-hour flu would have been more desirable if I had it my way. What was I self-doubting about? Writing. The ability to tell an interesting story and not drive the reader up the fucking wall with miscues or questionable decisions regarding story flow. It seems the more I learn about storytelling, the more I doubt that I can write the story I want to tell. But, at the same time, the more I learn about storytelling, the more compelled I am to do better with each writing endeavour. It’s no surprise the two coexist quite comfortably side by side.

On that day, doubting my abilities was the prevailing exercise bouncing in my head. It didn’t leave me until my best friend texted me with her thoughts on the piece known as the short-story-turned-novel. She loved what I had written so far. She was excited and thrilled that I’m working on turning it into a novel. I thanked her for her remarks and confessed I was having self-doubts that I could successfully pull off the story I wanted to tell.

Bless her beautiful soul, she told me what I needed to hear to get me out of the tailspin I was in. As an aside, I’m enlisting her help with some field research before the end of the year. Considering the research I need to do, it’s something that is infinitely more fun doing with a partner-in-crime. If we can lineup our schedules, it will be a ton of fun.

As for the research I’m currently engrossed in, it’s been eye-opening and exciting to learn. The gerbil spinning the wheel in my head with a little extra verve. Now remember, my idea of fun, on occasion, can be regarded as someone else’s idea of queasy terror. I’m close to finishing the first book and I have the next book lined up and ready to be marked up with annotations and highlighted.

Gotta go. Research to conduct. And an imagination waiting to be unleashed.

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