Doubt, in oneself, is the biggest obstacle you will have to overcome on the path that will lead you to your goals.
He’s a sneaky little bastard, doubt is. He’ll creep into your thoughts without you even knowing; and then sit back and watch while you self sabotage all the efforts you’ve put forth so far. Before you know it you find yourself questioning your work and the motivations behind it. You just can’t shake that niggling feeling that doubt brings with it. You say to yourself, “What’s the point? I’m going to fail anyway.”
Hopefully, that’s as far as things go. You realize that doubting yourself gets you no where, except for the same spot on the couch that you’re currently occupying. You banish the toxic thoughts from your head; instead, choosing to forge onward.
I feel like I’ve been completely naive. Whilst procrastinating when I should be writing (oops!)…I’ve been doing research on literary agents and the process to getting published for the first time. See, at least I’m being sort of productive. Holy Odyssey Batman! I had no idea. Not a single clue about the hoops you have to jump through just for your work to be considered worthy of possible publication. For some reason I assumed that getting published was the difficult part. But you know what they say about assuming things. Except there’s no you involved so I’m left as the only ass in this situation!
Getting published sounds like it’s actually the easy part. Or as much of an easy part as can be, considering the feat. Finding an agent, on the other hand, sounds like a trek to the south pole while hitch hiking, barefoot. Yep, that’s about right. Painful. There are words like queries and suggestions to “build your platform”. I have no clue what either of those things mean. And then there’s the waiting. Tips from actual agents say that the waiting is positively excruciating.
And so doubt has begun invading my thoughts. “Am I in over my head?” “Do I have what it takes to make it in the cutthroat literary world?” “Is what I’m writing even interesting enough for other people to read?”
The answer to all these questions is yes. Absolutely I’m in over my head. But it’s sink or swim, and I choose to fight and swim. That’s why I have what it takes. I’m a fighter, I will do whatever it takes to make it happen. As for wether my subject matter is interesting to any one else…well, I hope so.
Banishing doubt from your mind isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes vigilance and conviction. The best way to get rid of the pesky thoughts is to power on. Barge through your misgivings and meet them head on with positivity.
The only question left to ask yourself at that point is, “How much am I willing to sacrifice to get what I want?”