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Doubting Your Writing Style

                Does
anyone else remember that movie that came out about 6 years ago called “Doubt”?
I remember being so excited to see it mostly because in my eyes Meryl Streep is
an unparalleled goddess when it comes to acting. It was a movie that challenged
a part of the human condition that seems to inspire the most shame in us. 

It
seems society allows us to be scared and honest, but as soon as those two are
united with any amount of uncertainty the subject often becomes taboo. “What do
you mean you don’t know how you feel?” “You aren’t sure about your idea? How do
you ever expect to be a decent writer unless you believe in yourself?”

                So
does having doubts about our writing mean we are weak or that we don’t believe
in ourselves? I think not. I would hazard to say that having doubts is innate
in the transiency that is being an artist. What do I mean by that? I mean that
creativity is a living entity that grows and changes often faster than we do.
We have an idea, we start writing it down on paper, but our minds are already
actively sculpting a new part of the idea (or a new idea altogether). For me
and for many artists I know, this can cause a bit of a dilemma: do I abandon
what I’m currently working on in pursuit of this new idea, or do I trust in the
idea I’m working with and see it through to the finish?

                I
think the answer to that question is different for everyone and every idea
(which is a cop-out answer I’ll admit), but the idea is that doubt is normal
and in fact necessary during the artistic process. Doubt forces us to challenge
our ideas and evaluate them against alternatives. It promotes self-awareness
and in doing so has the potential to refine our writing. Dare I propose the
paradox that doubt can actually help us build our self-confidence?

                When
I sit down to write these post, I always have doubts about what to write or
what you want to read about, but I find it makes me think more critically about
the topics I choose. I know that not every post will be a gem, but the more I
write and take into consideration the cause of my doubts (namely the fact that
there are so many talented and intelligent writers reading the blog), the more
confident I become as a writer.

                So
next time you catch yourself doubting your work, use it as a tool not a
hindrance. Obviously too much doubt is debilitating, but I guess as is true for
most things: we have to find a balance. The true take home message however is
that we shouldn’t feel ashamed for doubting our writing or our ideas because it
will only make us stronger. 

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