I’m in one of those phases again. It seems every couple of months I take a look at myself and where I am at creatively and just wonder “What am I doing?”
The answer is never a nice one, because the question is loaded. Objectively I could at where I am at and say that the beta-readers for my second novel are being very complimentary and that I am on track for a release in May, that one of my podcasts keeps rising in numbers, and that even this site is doing better now that I am back to posting daily.
I could say all of that. But instead I look at things in with the most negative spin. What does that sound like? Here is a little taste of the Goblin of Doubt that lives in my head.
Sure, your beta-readers are enjoying your book. But they are your friends. And most of them haven’t even finished. Probably because it is terrible. And you are going to slow in your editing and re-writes, so there is no way you can finish. Unless you want to ignore your family, jerk. And your podcasts? Great. One of three is okay, the other two no one listens to. And this site? C’mon, you’ve seen the numbers. Doing better is still doing shitty. You might as well just link cat videos. Almost guaranteed you’d get more views.
Yup. That is the state of mind I am currently in. That little voice that poops on everything I do. The worst part of it is almost all of its mean little points have some grain of truth. It makes it hard to dismiss that voice entirely.
But I have to. I have to push it away. I have to keep doing my best to keep creating. I blog. I record. I edit. I write. I play music. I do whatever I can to make myself a better artist. And even thought that Goblin voice has a grain of truth it is not telling the full truth. It is telling the lie that will make me quit.
Am I where I want to be creatively? Not yet. Am I where I want to be audience wise? Certainly not. And there is certainly a lot I need to learn about gaining an audience and boosting my words. I don’t know the best way to gain reach.
But I do know that if I give in to that little voice and stop creating that I will never get to where I want to be. That is a definite.
And I’m sure I am not the only creative who keeps waking up to find that the Goblin of Doubt has grown a little stronger during the night. Just like I know that I am not the only one who manages to banish it, at least for a little while.
I feel strange even offering advice, seeing as how, as I have mentioned, I am not where I want to be. Bu tI do have something that tends to work for silencing that Goblin.
Do what you love. Ignore that part of you that wants you to give up. Ignore the part that tells you you will never make it. Pick up your pen, brush, instrument, microphone. Whatever it is that lets you do your art, pick it up. And then create. Fight back with creation.
Here we are, a mere 600 words later and that Goblin has grown quiet. I take comfort in my power to link words together in a form that matters, and the Goblin looses its power to tell me I am not good enough. Because I am good enough and I just need to fill myself with positivity that the more I create the more my voice will find an audience. I tell myself and I believe it.
And, sure, during the course of the day I will look at the numbers of this post. I’ll tell myself its doing well. Then the numbers will flatten. And then the Goblin will likely come back and tell me that this post isn’t doing well because I’m not good enough. I’ll do my best to ignore it. By tomorrow that Goblin will be full of itself and I’ll have that moment where I consider just stopping all together.
That will be when I, yet again, remind myself that stopping is the only sure way to fail. I’ll sit at my keyboard and create and the Goblin will be defeated for another day.