When you feel yourself falling into the trap of self-doubt, take out a piece of paper and write the following: "This is new territory. I am an explorer." Tack it up on your bulletin board. Look at it once an hour, and write it over again if necessary. Remind yourself that the most important work you are doing is in the process itself. You are discovering and recording aspects of yourself and the world that are uniquely yours. If this were easy, there would be no point to it. You are mapping out new territory, and it may be harrowing—and, for that matter, you may not arrive at the destination you had set out for. But you will experience wonders along the way, and you will transmit them to paper to the best of your ability. The world may expect one thing from you, but you are free to deliver something else entirely. In writing, you are obligated only to yourself and to the work. Clearly, you are up to it.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Every Friday, MJ Rose is turning over her publishing blog, Buzz, Balls & Hype, to Dr. Sue, a therapist (and writer) who focuses on issues relevant to writers. Her first two columns are filled with very wise and compassionate advice. I look forward to soaking up words like this every week: