Self Doubt and the Artist

The hardest part about writing, for me, has been overcoming my own self doubt. I’ll write and write and I’ll be totally in love with my work and then BAM! Self doubt creeps in and makes me think everything I’ve written is just a big pile of shit and I should quit while I’m ahead. I started writing a novel when I was 18. I never finished it. My God! That was 20 years ago! I still have it in a folder somewhere, jammed into the back of one of our filing cabinets. Maybe I’ll look at it again. Maybe not. Here I am, 20 years later – 20 years of life experience, self confidence, self acceptance later. And that hater, Self Doubt, is still lingering.

But here’s the schtick: it’s an artist thing. Everyone who creates something has some moment of doubt that what they’ve made is any good. If anyone else, except their mom, will like it. Pull through, oh creators of beautiful things, and remember that we are our own worst critics.

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While I was MIA

I want to say that I was doing something completely incredible while I was MIA from the blogging world. Sadly, I wasn’t off learning a new language, traveling through Europe, curing disease, de-worming orphans, or spreading the word to people in undiscovered parts of the world. I’ve been here, in Maine, occasionally finding time to work on revising my book (it’s slow going) and discovering the joy of scrapbooking.

Yes, scrapbooking. A friend suggested I try it after I told her how stifled I’ve been feeling. There are times when I just get sick of the endless laundry, sibling fights, whining kids, cooking and trying to keep a house clean when I have 2 kids that like to mess it up within minutes. So I made a mini scrapbook album out of a brown paper bag to give to my daughter. The creative process was cathartic. I really miss the days of print-based design. Everything to do with design nowadays seems to be web design or mobile app design. I don’t find writing a computer language to create something emotionally fulfilling. Too bad for me that the world has become so high tech.

I have also been dealing with a wandering 6 year old. Again. Now I have alarms on all the doors in my house so that she can’t sneak out when we’re asleep. Which she did 2 weeks ago. In the rain. In her nightgown. My neighbor drove her home and rang the doorbell until we woke up. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep her from getting out her window without nailing it shut or putting bars on the outside. And yes, she did try to jump out her window when her dad put her in a time out recently and she wanted to go outside. Lovely, right? She pushed her screen out and everything. I didn’t think I’d have to worry about my kid sneaking out until she was at least 13. Apparently, the joke’s on me.

Do they make LoJacks for kids? Or invisible fences with shock collars that can’t be removed by clever little fingers?