Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Artist's Worst Enemy: Self-Doubt

Am I good enough? Will people like my book? Will they like me? What if I fail? What if I succeed? What's next after publishing? Am I in over my head?

Self-doubt. It is a pain-in-the-bum. I am sure I am not the only one experiencing these feelings. In fact, I know I am not the only one feeling this way. If you are reading this blog, you may very well be asking yourself the same questions. Welcome to the club--together we will push this doubt aside. ((Hopefully))

The fear of success is strangely just as powerful as the fear of failing. As artists, we pour our hearts and souls into our projects. In a conversation with Nancy O'Neill ( ), she likened writing a book to having a baby. We spend a lot of time nurturing our stories and drawings. We watch them grow from a group of small scribbles to a beautiful, healthy work of art. Then our babies are ready to go out into the world and we are left hoping they are accepted by it. We pray they do not get swallowed up or thrown to the wayside. We want the very best for them. Why? Because they are a piece of us. If they are rejected, then we are in a sense rejected too.

Hence, the self-doubt and the fear. No one wants to feel rejected or to have a project of ours ripped to shreds. We want love and support. We need people to like us and our work. Without it, we are lost. But we cannot let these fears stop us from putting our work out there. Artists crave reaction. We love to see how others respond. We love to see the joy on their faces when they connect with our creations. We love to hear them make comments and ask questions. We love to see them take a closer look or when they are in deep thought over a piece. Artist love to connect. It is why we create.

But how are we able to connect if we don't share our work with others? Simply put--we can't. No one will see your unique beauty if you are too scared to show it. The fear is just that--fear. It is a state of mind. It is a wall preventing you from realizing your dreams. It is stopping you from being you. The truth is your work, your message, and who you are is wonderful. Stop being fearful and just believe. Believe in yourself and your art because you are special. Embrace your fears and learn how to move past them. Educate yourself about the business if you are feeling overwhelmed. Learn about formatting, editing, marketing, etc. Join groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other sites where you can talk to other artists. There are a lot of people willing to help as long as you ask. Peace and love my friends.

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