“If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. That’s the lesson. That lesson alone will save you a lot of grief. Even doubt means don’t.”
I’m not given to quoting Oprah Winfrey all that often. Not because I doubt she has anything pithy to say but because I normally don’t run across things she’s said.
As far as her quote about doubt, once upon a time, I would have agreed with her.
It used to be that whenever I felt doubt about something it was as loud as a scream. It meant, “NOOOOOOO!!!” Whenever it appeared it was a warning, a clarion call, and a big booming bell that stopped me in my tracks.
Doubt is part of the writing process.
Is it as good as I think it is? Or does it suck?
Does my editor really love it or is she just being kind?
Will readers hate this book – will they understand the character?
See? Doubt is part of everything I do, every day.
In fact, I’ve come to think of doubt as just a safety check, one last gate through which I have to pass.
For example, I’m changing my newsletter and going to a new service has been a royal pain.
Here’s my internal monologue:
Hey, Karen, you sure you want to do this? You realize, of course, that it’s going to be a pain in the neck if you do it.
Yeah, I know. But I have to.
Are you absolutely sure?
You sure you’re sure?
Yeah. Just do it.
Okay, well push ENTER and off we go!
Another great quote, one I have inscribed on glass and sitting beside my monitor reads:
Nobody has to tell you when it’s right.
Because, at the end of the day, nobody can dispel that voice of doubt but you.