Tuesday, May 10, 2011


One of my friends who is a terrific author is feeling unsure of herself and I've been giving her a pep talk via email. She doesn't realize what a treasure she is and is plagued by "should I this?" and "shouldn't I that?" until she has paralyzed her writing.

Degas, Two Dancers

Writers--and others who work alone--are prey to self doubts. Day after day we toil away, and are our own taskmasters. That's why critique partners and writers groups are important for writers, just as feedback groups are important for any profession. The constructive comments of others help ground us in reality and keep us on our course.
Monet, Water Lilies

Doubts don't just paralyze us as authors, but as humans. In our family we joke that we're blessed with 20/20 hindsight. Sad, but true. We think we know what we should have done in any situation, but do we?

Van Gogh, Sunflowers

The saddest case I know of was a woman who feared she had ovarian cancer. She worried until she became so distressed that she took her own life. She left a note telling her husband and daughters that she couldn't put them through the trial of watching her die slowly. An autopsy revealed that her ovarian tumor was benign and all she needed was a simple operation to remove the growth.

Second guessing ourselves and letting doubt overcome us is not fair to those who live with and love us. We owe them our best. We can't always smile and be cheerful, but we can believe in our dreams enough to keep hammering away at them. 

Grimshaw, Spirit of the Night

And who can say what any change to the past would have caused over the course of our lives? We assume it would have been beneficial, but it might have created the opposite effect. Plus, all our life experiences have created the persons we are today. Different experiences = different person.  

No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. - Jeanne Bice


Bebo said...

Wonderful, Carolyn. This is exactly what I needed to hear/read today.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog, Caroline. Love the Bice quote. Thanks for such heart felt words.
Writer Wellness, A Writer's Path to Health and Creativity

Sarah Allen said...

We all need encouragement. Your friend is lucky to have you their to support her, and so are we readers :)

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)