Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mr. Self Doubt and his cousin, Mr. Why Do I Bother

Yes, that old demon Mr. Self Doubt has visited again. Yesterday was an interesting day.

When I get negative feedback, I have a process that I have to go through. One of my CP's is relatively new, so I don't think she's seen me go through this process before. SHe probably thinks I am nuts.

First, I get hurt and upset and perhaps even cry a little bit. I might even get a little angry and I definitely get frustrated. What is needed is for me to put the comments in perspective, but that takes time sometimes. After frustration I get depressed. As in "I Suck." or better yet, "Why do I punish myself? Why do I continually beat my head against a wall when (back to the beginning, say it together now) I SUCK." LOL

Eventually, I'll look at the critique again, work through it, get some ideas. Then I'll get determined. And suddenly I find I'm back to the beginning again where I refuse to quit and I soldier on.

This process can take a few hours, a few weeks or a few days. But invariably it happens. Yesterday was one of those days. But my CP was online and it sped up my process a lot being able to work through it in real time.

Last night I revised chapter one. I'm having a considerable amount of performance anxiety now. I took a hot bubble bath with Il Divo playing in the background. Had a wee bit of a cry (yes, I'm self-indulgent, sue me). Slept on it and woke up feeling almost normal.

While in the bath last night I came to two brilliant conclusions. One is that I'm a bit of a perfectionist. (I can hear you all laughing now. Yes, you've probably known that forever, ha ha.) Not to the point that every word in my ms has to be perfect. But more the type that when I want something, I go after it until I get it. And you know what? I usually get it. Thinking quickly I cannot remember a time when I didn't get something I really wanted...until now. It's taking SO long.

The other thing I realized is that I am an artist. Perhaps not a very good one but in my heart and soul I am an artist. I feel things deeply. I see things with a different point of view. Music has the ability to touch my soul; performing brings me joy. I could stop writing but I wouldn't stop being an artist.

And so I carry on.


  1. Oh, Donna. I completely relate to the always getting what you want until now....that's exactly what I'm going through. I've been where you are - very recently. Keep moving forward!

  2. Yup, I've been there too. Though this year I have quickly realised that even when I do get what I want, I then want something more. And get frustrated when that doesn't happen right away despite all my hard work, either.

    It's good that you recognise your pattern for dealing with negative feedback. It's much less demoralising that way. And I know you can learn from it and move on.

  3. Hi Donna,

    I saw your note on the EHar board and had to come and post. First of all, it seems you are quite prolific, so chin up and all that great stuff! I don understand the self doubt though. R after R. Yuck.
    I go through times when I wonder what the heck I'm doing. And my husband does too...

    I also wanted to say that I also had PPD. I didn't realize that you had too. My son is five now, so it's been awhile, but it was horrible, and I don't think you ever forget an experience like that. I had horrible anxieity too. Yuckers.

    Anyhow, you keep going girl. I know you will. Sometimes we just have to vent and check in with other writers to make sure we're not completely wonkers!!

    Janet G