Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Power of Doubt

The calendar may say it’s March, but here in Toronto it feels like spring. There are patches of snow on the ground, but most of it has melted away. We’re moving forward, moving closer to the real spring season (Daylight Savings Time kicks in this Sunday), and away from what could be described as a fraudulent winter (we had very little snow and often above seasonal temperatures). Today, I feel like there’s a sense of momentum building, like there’s a spring in my step. That’s because I’ve been doing my best to keep on keeping on.

I’ve been hunkered down on a writing project that both excites and terrifies. It excites because the characters have come alive, the writing is assured, and showing up each day to work on it, I’m moving closer to finishing something. It terrifies because some days I get stuck, don’t know how to move the story forward and start to panic. Like I did yesterday. So I put the project aside and worked on something else.

Yesterday I got stuck, and as a writer that’s not new terrain for me. But feeling stuck — feeling like I don’t know how to move the writing forward — allows doubt to make his grand entrance. Doubt, while it scares me, also reminds me that I am on track and on the right path. This time around, however, doubt isn’t bringing me down. It’s lifting me up, putting that spring in my step. Doubt is my muse.

Today, doubt strengthens my resolve to be the best writer I can be. Doubt has me focused and committed to my writing dreams. Doubt has me determined to succeed, to never give up on my dreams.

Yes, I have learned to keep on keeping on by weathering the storm of doubt that often tries to derail me. I’m staying focused on the work, showing up at the page, day after day, and letting the writing move through me. Resigned from competition, I can’t worry about who’s doing better than me or if my Facebook or Twitter followings are growing fast enough. To succeed, I must write, and that takes courage — the courage to do what I love to do and being completely wrapped up in it, giving it my best. Always. When I do that I know I can, just for today, keep on keeping on.

And again, today, I will begin where I am, and the rest will follow.

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