Hi! I’m Lee and I was actually one of the founders of NHWN and the Live to Write, Write to Live blog. I haven’t been around much lately. I’ve handled some behind the scenes technical issues, but mostly, I’ve been silent.
Silent and frustrated. That witch self doubt showed up for an extended visit. I started hearing “OMG They are all so much better/smarter/wittier/more knowledgeable than me.” “What can I possibly add?” And my all time favorite, “I suck as a writer, I should just quit.” Once I put on my big girl panties and said “suck it up buttercup.” All hell broke lose in my non-writing life, childcare, travel, eldercare and illness. I’m married, a mother of two, and an only child so this noise isn’t likely to subside anytime time soon. I finally decided I just needed to get over it and get on with it.
I would love to say I snapped my fingers, the witch left and the words returned, but, I’d be lying. It has been a series of small steps forward and a few steps backwards. Mostly, it has brute force, sitting my butt down, forcing my mind to focus, and putting my fingers to the keys or pen to paper.
One thing I did was go back and read the fragments of stories that I have started. I was pleased to find, even though they were incomplete and abandoned, I liked them. I was excited by them and I even had a few new ideas for a few of them.
I think one of the causes of my stagnation was a lack of knowledge acquisition. I hadn’t made a concerted effort to learn anything new about writing in a while. I would have loved to attend a conference, but the logistics of my non-writing life put the kibosh on that idea. So instead, I became a member of the Romance Writers of America. They have a New Hampshire Chapter who meets monthly and several chapters offer online classes.
I’m still not churning out thousands of words a day, but I am making slow and steady progress and for now, that’s enough. What about you? Has the Witch Of Self Doubt paid you a visit? What did you do to chase her away?
Lee Laughlin is a writer, wife, and mom, frequently all of those things at once. She blogs at Livefearlesslee.com. Her words have appeared in a broad range of publications from community newspapers to the Boston Globe.