When in doubt, do it anyway! by Rosalind

I think not only as writers – but as people – at points in our life we find ourselves more doubtful than we’ve ever been before. Maybe it’s about something specific, or maybe it’s a feeling you can’t exactly pinpoint, but whatever it is doubt itself can sometimes be enough to make us step back and avoid things that perhaps don’t even scare us – but just make us doubt.

Now when you’re an artist – a writer, painter, singer, dancer – doubt is what ends you if you indulge in it, and I can promise you that at least once in a while you’ll feel inclined to drive yourself into that storm. My advice – don’t. When it doubt, do it anyway! On an artistic level at least, and you know, sometimes in a day-to-day way. I’d say I stop something like three times while I’m in the midst of writing a story, drawing a picture, hell, sometimes doing something that’s unrelated to both those things, but I think on a creative level, the mere idea of doubt is something that should be overcome, maybe even eventually ignored – because really – it’s a useless human emotion when it comes to something as diverse and questionable as writing, because you’ll never reach two people the same way with the messages you convey as you tell a story.

I’ve had lots of moments where I have doubted – myself, my abilities, my needs, even my wants – and doubt for me is just another word for blame. Blame for not being good enough, blame for not knowing enough, blame for not being as selfless as I could, blame aimed at myself. I’ve fired off that gun too many times, but I’m beginning to learn that really they’re points to consider, and self built barriers to break down that allows us to take our fingers off those triggers that blow our best ideas away. Good ideas scare us, this seems to be in our nature, because things that are groundbreaking often make us feel uncertain and small, but until we realize what they look like on paper, what they sound like when we speak them to other’s, doubt can only be seen as the chains that bind us, and keep us in a place that only serves to do everything but protect us from monsters that we conjure up with our doubt.

It’s funny where we can learn these kinds of messages from, how we earn these kinds of experiences, and how we look into our surroundings and our situations, our struggles, our happiness, and we see answers to things that we didn’t even know were questions. My question, how to overcome doubts in my writing, in my life? Well, it didn’t ever seem possible that the fix to that problem was to simply ‘do’. When you hear something like that it makes it sound too easy, but the easiest way I can explain it is to simply tell you that overcoming takes practice, but it’s not some taunting task that leaves you rewardless, it’s a hard earned escape from a capture that becomes a piece of something distant and unimportant. It’s all about breaking free of the habit of doubting oneself, and to begin just remember: when it doubt, do it anyway.

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Posted on March 2, 2016, in Editorial Board Essay. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I’ve been really doubting my writing lately and it’s draining to say the least, so this was something I really needed to hear.

    Thanking you for writing this. ❤

  2. Rosalind, that was REALLY inspirational! Thanks so much for writing that! You know when you come across something that you really had to hear at just this exact moment? This was totally it. Thank you SO much for helping me!

  3. Very good advice, Rosalind! 🙂

  4. I love the phrase! ” When in doubt, do it anyway!”, it has a powerful meaning. Great job Rosalind, your writing is always so meaningful!

  5. This was so useful and inspiring! We all have those bad days where we doubt our abilities. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. I’ve gone through many of those spouts, and always had something creative come out of it in the end. Great post Rosalind!

  7. Thank you for writing and sharing this post. I can tell that you are a very intelligent and enlightened person. I agree that doubt is a useless emotion and it’s best to just do whatever you’re having doubts about anyway. It’s very important to remember that nothing good comes from doubt.

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