Doubt

Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones, has this to say about doubt:

“Every other month I am ready to quit writing. The inner dialogue goes something like this: ‘This is stupid. I am making no money, there’s no career in poetry, no one cares about it, it’s lonely I hate it, it’s dumb, I want a regular life.’ These thoughts are torture. Doubt is torture. If we give ourselves fully to something, it will be clearer when it might be appropriate to quit. It is a constant test of perseverance. Sometimes I listen to the doubting voice and get sidetracked for a while. . . .Don’t listen to doubt. It leads no place but to pain and negativity. . . There is nothing helpful there. Instead, have a tenderness and determination toward your writing,  a sense of humor and deep patience that you are doing the right thing. Avoid getting caught by that small gnawing mouse of doubt. See beyond it to the vastness of life and the belief in time and practice.”

We all have doubts about our decisions, our choices, our life. Doubt is like getting nibbled to death by ducks. There is no way to back up, it surrounds you. Make a decision. Right or wrong, you will know, but if you doubt, you just sink deeper into doubt.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. (c) 2007 All rights reserved.