on The Creative Penn:
Every writer grapples with self-doubt, but how we deal with those thoughts and feelings can make the difference between a completed book and an unfulfilled dream. Psychotherapist Philip Kenney shares the practices that he and his clients use to enable them to keep writing.
The great novelist and short story writer, Flannery O’Connor once said,
“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay.”
Why is the great Flannery O’Connor losing her hair? And why do so many authors go through periods of despair or consider abandoning their vocation? Because writing is tough. It subjects perfectly capable people to bouts of insecurity, self-doubt and enough encounters with demoralizing rejections to last a dozen lifetimes.
Six months into the search for an agent and publisher for my first book, I found myself in a negative tailspin that is familiar to most writers: “You can’t write. Who are you kidding?”
Sound familiar? I considered stuffing the manuscript into the lower drawer of my desk. Writers die a thousand deaths in this way.
Writing is also exhilarating. A wonderful feeling of aliveness accompanies the work when we are in the flow.