Since declaring my major in Creative Writing a couple of years ago, I realized that I have quite a bit of self doubt. Every paper I turn in, I’m sure it’s the worst I’ve written. Every story I write for Ocean Drive magazine, I’m second guessing every line. Every blog post I post, I wonder if any of it made sense or if it will resonate with anyone. Every writing workshop I attend, I expect to hear the worst from my peers and teachers that have reviewed it.
But to my pleasant surprise, the feedback is usually ok. Of course I have received bad grades, red marks, and countless track changes leaving it seemingly blood stained with suggestions and edits, but they never make me want to stop writing.
If anything, those marks make me want to broaden my vocabulary, become more cultured and worldly , listen to more interesting people, and pay attention to everything around me more closely. My hope is to be able to tell a good story, and deliver sentences that leave whomever has read my words enlightened, possibly even touched. Regardless, at times I do feel discouraged when I think of how well some authors and writers can write.
Last weekend I attended Carl Hiaasen’s birthday party. Celebrating him as a family friend, but also as an author I truly admire, was really something special. It was so cool to hear all of his friends, family, and coworkers giving speeches about his life thus far; professional and non professional. Memories were remembered, funny stories were shared, and one man’s speech in particular stuck with me more than anyone else’s. It was his publisher, and he discussed Carl’s self doubt. How Carl, even after all of his success, truly believes all of his books aren’t ever good enough. He went on to say how despite his paradox way of thinking, Carl is a genius. To me, Carl is just that, and it’s so hard to imagine someone so incredible at writing having self doubt.
It made me realize that no matter how talented we may appear, passionate we are at something, or even if we sell a million copies of a book we’ve written, we still fear that it won’t be good enough.
The words we write are unique to ourselves. No other person can write them for us, and no other person can ever fully understand why or how they were written as well as we do. So despite our self doubts, fears, and worry about if it will be good enough, we must keep writing.
there is no good enough reason to ever stop.