Scrapbooking and Self-Doubt

Scrapbooking and laundry. That’s what I did yesterday during the small amount of precious free time that I get these days. That’s right. I said scrapbooking. For those of you who know me, you’re probably having a hard time reconciling that image. I don’t scrapbook. I’d love to, but it’s not really my thing. I started a scrapbook when my son was 2 years old. I got three pages done before realizing I had other things I’d rather do with my far from copious amounts of free time. So it got filed away.

For the past eight months, I have dedicated a large part of my free time every day to writing. Writing this blog, writing one of the two novels I’ve been working on, anything. All I wanted to do was write. I loved it. It felt so freeing, and I couldn’t wait for that block of time each day so I could sit down with my computer and get more words on the page. I even began to dread weekends, because I lost that time.

So how did I find myself working on a scrapbook yesterday instead of writing? Simple. Self doubt has paralyzed me, and left me more or less useless at the keyboard. It’s ironic because just over two months ago, at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, I sat in on a session about Writers Block. The speaker talked a lot about writers block being caused by fear: fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, etc. And I remember being surprised. I wasn’t scared of failing. I write for fun. Because I enjoy it. Failure, while a definite option, wasn’t a concern.

So what happened? To put it simply, within one week two of the three agents who requested to look at my manuscript turned me down. They were both very cordial about it, and I can’t say I was surprised. It’s a tough business to get into. It was only a few months ago that I wrote about getting my first rejection and how it wasn’t going to get to me because I knew it was going to be hard. I tried to be stoic and not let it get to me. But apparently it did, because my current work in progress has been languishing, and even though I have some ideas on how to fix the manuscript that has been turned down, I can’t bring myself to open a file and work on it. I have all of these ideas in my head, but when I do try to write, they seem stale and lifeless. So instead, I spend my time on Facebook. Or worse . . . scrapbooking.

But I finally felt enough inspiration to write this. So here’s to the hope that finally being able to pound out a blog post (though it may not be funny or witty at all) signals at least a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Because I have to push through this and keep going. At least if I don’t, I’ll have a mediocre-at-best scrapbook to show for it.


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