Doubt is Torture – Shawn Blanc’s Advice

Freelance publisher Shawn Blanc has an encouraging post about motivation for all writers: Doubt is Torture

He draws on Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg, from 1986, and shows how her advice to poets applies to writing web posts and constructing wikis.  Shawn’s connection: The weblog gives you that extra push needed to overcome doubt.

I am amazed at how many people consider themselves a writer, or who hope to become one, and weblogs have done something that journals never did. They’ve given an extra push of motivation to those people who always wanted to write, but never did.

Unfortunately, it seems the same motivation which encourages us to publish, also feeds those voice of self-doubt that Natalie talks about. I don’t know how many posts I’ve started and deleted because I thought they weren’t relevant or exciting or interesting enough. Which is why I love this sentence so much: “Instead, have a tenderness and determination toward your writing, a sense of humor and a deep patience that you are doing the right thing. Avoid getting caught by that small gnawing mouse of doubt.”

Nice connection. The kind of writing is not relevant here.  Tech writers, article writers, journalists, grant writers, freelancers suffer the same self-doubt as poets and essayists, and the weblog gives them all a space to practice patience, to chase out the mouse.

Both the book and Shawn’s blog are worth a read.

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