Does the road of doubt get you both coming and going?

Posted by & filed under Creativity in your writing, Humour in Your Writing., Workshops.

From a very young age, I have written and performed stories.

When I got out of my parent’s basement, I actually had people pay me to do what I loved. I wrote comedy sketches, TV scripts, and then, in 1989, a big play about the premature birth of my daughter — Miracle Mother. I say “big” because it was a hit and earned me award nominations and national recognition.

Then I wrote a story about my mentor, Mari Hopps, whom I loved like a grandma, and it got panned across the board. With failure came doubt — the kind of doubt that gets up ahead of you in the morning wearing pink panties and eating bonbons.

I had writer’s block — an RV in India after the monsoon kind of writer’s block.

I took artist dates and gathered acorns and drew pictures of my inner child while my husband babysat the outer ones. I filled one journal after another, each page a landfill site of emotional baggage.

After I downloaded the fear, I realized ONE thing:

Failing and succeeding felt exactly the same.

On the one hand, my success made me think, “I will never write anything this good again.” On the other hand, my failure made me think, “I will never write anything good again.”

It was a no win.

So it was time to step outside my inner-child’s notebook and woman up.

I had to go back to doing what I loved doing: writing, creating and teaching. And so it began. And so it continues. Each day, doing the BICPOP:  butt in chair, pen on paper.

What about you? When you meet with a setback in any area of your life, how do you motivate yourself to keep going? Leave your comment below so we can all benefit. Thanks!






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7 Responses to “Does the road of doubt get you both coming and going?”

  1. Shirley

    When I am excited it is easy to create whether it is painting or a project to make our home more comfortable. I can’t always be into painting at an inspired level. Some times I wonder does anyone care enough to purchase my work but if I have enjoyed the project that is half my pay. It would be nice if there was a lineup to buy my work but the paintings would suffer.

    • Deborah

       So true, am glad we can hang out and inspire each other Shirley. I too feel the inspiration and process are half the deal. Its when I dig my heels in and think when am I ever going to get paid with cash and prestige that I suffer most. I feel when I put my service to the world higher than my need for approval I often have a great day.  At whatever I do.

  2. Teagal22

    I feel the fear and begin doing it anyway.Then I try to remember I’m not alone. The Muse is always with me.

  3. Diane

    Hm that’s a tough one. Sometimes you have to walk away for a bit. Sometimes I go to the topics or fears that most bother me and read about them and then start writing them. Sometimes I FB and eat chips. All seem to help. 

  4. Sr Kay Morrell

    I remind myself of all the things that I have done well, things people liked, things I got complimented for–especially if it surprised me. That helps to balance the books.  And I recall the words of one mentor, “You can do SOMETHING!”  … as opposed to “I can’t do anything.”

  5. Pizza

    I need some sort of genie or demon sitting on my shoulder to give me a writing assignment or suggestion, sort of like a daily coach.  This would be like a improvisation group requiring a suggestion from the audience to get started with its skit.

  6. LIZ

    Hey Pizza, that’s why Deb as started this six week online course. Classes every Sunday online plus weekly email prompts and a very focused way to get one project done. 


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