Shut Up, Doubt


Every time I sit to write, my inner voice tries to bring me down.

“You won’t write anything good,” it says. “This is a waste of time.”  Its favorite seems to be,  “You’ll never finish.”

I let it speak, and I imagine it will continue to do so through the day I write my novel’s final sentence. I let it get in its jab, and then I write. I write to spite it.

We all have doubt, and it seems in our collective nature to assume failure. That’s good news for all the writers of self help books, but I’m not writing one of those. A return to youthful optimism seems unlikely. I assume my path forward is riddled with sharp pebbles and fire ants, and I can’t afford to replace my worn through shoes, but where else am I going to go?

That voice inside is stubborn, but so are all my other voices, because they are mine.

I will finish this novel. It will be good, and it will be published.

Maybe I should write a self help book, and I’ll dedicate it to all my writer brothers and sisters. It’s called “Shut Up, Doubt” and its mantra is “Write Out of Spite!” I’m sticking that on a T-shirt and wearing it until it’s stretched and torn and stained. Then I’ll pull out a new one, because I bought them in bulk.

Who’s with me?



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