I want to bottle it up: this delightful self-confidence. I’ve come home from my writing retreat feeling like there’s no stopping the words that pour from my pen…feeling beautiful and interesting and funny and yes, I do cave to the occasional attacks of writerly insecurity in all these things. I think I have a pretty decent self-concept most of the time, but in this business of writing, where feedback is rare and minimal, it’s easy for my heart to override my head and drag me into self-doubt.
I don’t think this is an uncommon problem. I’ve taken to asking fellow writers about their struggles with self-confidence, and every person I’ve asked has a story about their own moments of doubt. this includes writers of all ages and all ethnic backgrounds; writers who are just starting out and those who have their first book on the shelf and writers who have won national awards and well-established careers.
I think of these as self-doubt attacks—as someone or something that lays siege to my self-confidence. I know I’ll have others in the future, maybe even soon, although I suspect that this recent writing retreat will hold me for the next few months. So…how can I bottle up all the feedback, encouragement, and inspiration I was given in the past week? Should I write myself a letter? Make a “down day” file? Or do I have to plan to attend another retreat event in six months? Although that last idea is certainly attractive, I’m not sure I have either the time or money to do so.
What about you? How do you hang onto those moments when all is right in your world? I’ve been given such a gift in the past week and a half. I want to savor every bit of it!