Learning to Trust Instinct

Guts are to be listened to!

I am never going to learn that. Even as I continue to be presented with example after example of when I should’ve trusted my guts, my instinct, I still second guess myself. Same is true with my writing.

This manifests itself in two realms:

  1. Completing a project – the list of projects that I have is overwhelming. Dozens upon dozens of unfinished novels, blog posts, and stories litter my notebooks and hard drives. While some are the victims of ‘moving onto something better,’ far too many actually are victim of the traditional writer’s cry of “this is bullshit!” It’s the second guessing of the work, the surrender to self doubt.
    A good deal of these works really weren’t bad at all. A lot of them were just stalling or I was having trouble with the plot. My gut told me to keep going; my self-doubt told me to go grab a drink and throw the story out.
  2. Writing on a topic I want to – too many times my gut tells me to write on a topic. My gut is telling me not to. For instance, it’s that fear that someone might say something negative. It’s the fear that I don’t know what I am talking about, that I lack the authority to speak on something.

Because I have second guessed myself, I have let more sit and rot than I care to even think about. Even as I type this out, I am second guessing every. damn. word. Even the two line items I listed above, I am calling them into question. Gut told me to write them.

We all have those moments, those moments where we know we should do something but we let our fears and doubts cast a shadow over those decisions. Without experience to give us proper judgement, our guts are the best indicator of success.

I have to learn to trust my instinct with my writing. I have to learn not to let my doubts override anything any more.

Of course that will be a tough sell.

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