Defeating the Voices of Doubt

Recently, I've been stressing out that I've been spending a significant chunk of my personal time writing fiction. I feel like I am wasting time. Instead, I reason that I could be working on classes (either about relationships or kink), personal open source projects, or taking steps to publish the fiction I've already written. Underlying this is the idea that fiction writing is frivolous/escapist and doesn't contribute to the spiritual work I'm trying to accomplish.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who experiences regular doubts and insecurities about the work they are doing. For me these insecurities are a natural part of being vulnerable. I have high hopes for all of my love and intimacy projects. I hope that I'll help people think more intentionally about love and intimacy. I hope to show it's not just something that happens, where we follow society's expectations. Instead, we can choose our own path, and can learn and teach the skills that make intimacy successful.

Doubts are easy. Who am I to believe I can help people see the world differently? Even if I can possibly do that one-on-one when I'm talking to someone, where do I get the idea that fiction can cause people to think differently?

That's all a bunch of bunk of course. I can point back to plenty of fiction that has influenced how I think about the world. Even in my spiritual work, fictional representations of the divine have been critical in helping me find my own connection to the gods I work with. I can even point to cases where readers have talked about how stuff I wrote helped them at a time when that was important to them and other cases where I did cause people to think differently in exactly the ways that are important to me. But none of that matters to the little voices of doubt.

And of course we do our best work when we believe in ourselves. If you live in a world of magic, that's only natural: it is easiest to focus your intent when things are clear in your own mind. And so the little doubts get in the way and turn us aside from being our best and being productive. It's crazy. I've been on a tear lately. Since December 18 I've managed to write 35,000 words. This is some of the best quality story I've ever written. Rather than celebrating that and taking the time to write more, I'm sitting here doubting whether I am being indulgent.

I'm sharing my struggle in that hopes that the next time you doubt yourself, you tell the doubts to get lost just like I'm trying to do.

Of course there is a balance here. The doubts, at least in my experience, have a grain of truth. I absolutely should spend some energy getting existing writing published. I've actually been working on that. Similarly, it's been a while since I have been working on classes. It's coming up on time to do that. But what's really going on in my mind is that I'm afraid to believe in myself. If I put myself out there, I'm vulnerable. It's hard work after all. Especially for creative projects, many people will not see things the same way I do; they may not see the value I'm hoping they do. But ah, the rewards when they do. When something you do manages to connect with someone else, that's one of the best feelings ever.

So I'm going to try to squish the doubts and enjoy this surge of creativity. It's helping me explore power exchange and what I value in relationship. Besides, I'm finding my world building and characters more compelling than a lot of what I'm reading lately. That's a great feeling. For so much of my creative journey, I've been embarrassed by my own art. But in the last few years I've reached a place where I can be proud of it, at least when the little doubts are silenced. So I'm going to try to enjoy that. And I wish you success when your own self doubts stand in your way.

As a postscript, somewhere between writing this and publishing it, I had an opportunity to put together some class proposals and have them seriously considered. I also found time to work on thoughts about a class I hope to present this fall. I also had a great conversation about book covers for existing fiction. So, by defeating the voices of doubt (at least for the moment) and believing in myself , I managed to find the time and will to move all the projects forward. The magic really does come when we are in the right frame of mind to manifest.