Self doubt is a plague among beginning writers. We sit there and stare into the dreaded blank screen of doom contemplating whether or not we have that all powerful magical ingredient that all popular writers must have. For lack of a better term, we'll call that magical substance talent. I'm sure it's a great thing this talent. I bet it makes famous writers sparkle like a Twilight vampire. If you have ever read a book by one of these talented authors, I bet your thinking to yourself, "I could never write anything that good."
I found myself in that boat recently. All it took was one author to make me come to the realization that I would never be good enough to write a single thing that anyone would think was worth a dime. I sat in front of my blank screen, fingers on my keyboard frozen in fear. I wondered what it was I thought I was doing. I can't write a book. I can barely turn out a short story. My ideas suck. I could feel the depression sinking me faster than the Titanic strapped to Charlie Sheen's career. For days I procrastinated. I knew I had to get myself out of this funk. I knew I could do it. Then one day as I sat on my sofa watching an episode of "Phineas & Ferb " I came to a realization. I had been setting myself up to fail.
By comparing myself to someone who writes totally different than I do, in their own distinctive (yet brilliant) voice, I had sabotaged my own thought process. I'm no Hemmingway, Poe, Koontz, or King. I'm just me. What I write is my own. No one can take that away from me. Who am I to decide I have no talent for writing? That's not why I write in the first place. I write for me. Sure, I hope others will read what I write and enjoy it, but if they don't, that's all right, I can live with that. What I can't live with is putting myself through a process of systematic self destruction that I know must plague all writers at some point. If your just starting out on your writer's journey, let it be known that you are not as alone as you may think when it comes to things like self doubt. Know that you can do it. Don't ever again let that blank page play chicken with your soul. Just remember, the only way to do it, is to do it.