Self belief. Why is it so hard to come by?
I arrived home today to be greeted by an email from my writing school mentor. I had submitted the first third of one of the novels I’m working on for critique. I’ve only got six weeks to get it prepped and polished for end of year submission. When I saw the email my heart sank, convinced I was about to read a tongue lashing on all it’s faults.
Of course it wasn’t like that at all. She was very encouraging and praised the many things she felt I’d dealt with well, pointed out the few things she wants me to work on. I was ecstatic, my self belief boosted. Grinning from ear to ear I proudly read the critique to my mum. (Yes, I share my success with her. She supports the hell out of me and my writing after all.)
It got me thinking though. Why is it so much easier to believe that my work is no good than to believe I’ve got what it takes to succeed at this? I mean, I got into a creative writing class that only accepts twenty students a year and my first completed novel received personal feedback after it’s first submission and was picked up on it’s second. Believe me, I know how rare this is. So why do I keep doubting my ability as a writer?
More importantly, how many books will I have to publish before this stops plaguing me? When will I finally know, deep in my gut, that I am an author and that I’m good at what I do?