A few months ago I sat down at a festive gathering with friends, and a seven year old walked up to me asking if I’d like to do some puzzles. Five puzzles and several hours later, I was emphatically invited by her to her own sleepover.
I’m kind of a natural with kids — I feel like they gravitate to me like ducklings to a pond. I think it’s something to do with the fact I still eat cake for breakfast. I think it’s also something to do with the fact it never occurred to me I might not be able to interact and connect with children.
I think that’s the key to a lot of things in life.
When it doesn’t occur to you that you might not be able to write a book, or draw a comic, or give a presentation, the mental road-block that seems to sit in front of most of us every day disappears. When it doesn’t occur to you to fear or doubt yourself, there is no doubt.
Sometimes doubts help ground us, sure, but I know I’m at my happiest when I’m sat doing things it wouldn’t occur to me to have doubts about.
A lot of the time we don’t have doubts about filling a kettle or working the toaster in the mornings, so maybe we shouldn’t have so many doubts about things like writing.
You can do this. You’ve done this before. You’ve been going through the motions in some way or another for just as long as you’ve been doing other adult things like working a microwave or spelling your name in alphabetti spaghetti. And just like there came a day when you didn’t need help using the cooker, there’ll be a day you won’t notice the doubts so much when writing.
They’ll sneak in, they always do, but you’ll be confident enough to hush them with a simple: “I got this.”
How do you deal with doubts?
This post is part of Alex Cavanuagh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a once a month posting of doubts, fears, and confusions among friends.