As often happens when I’m debating or trying to figure out what to do with a story, I get dragged through the doubt factory.
The Doubt Factory has hangers on it, more like meat hooks, and once you enter the factory it can take a while to get out.
The employees in the factory scream obscenities at you, tell you what trash your work is and you’ll never be published if you’re not. If you are published they’ll tell you it was a fluke, that you won’t publish something else.
As you’re dragged through the factory kicking and screaming your mind begins to believe them, it tells you that you’re fooling yourself. The only thing this factory does is shatter your dreams, tell you all the things you’ve been told from those who are envious of what you’ve accomplished. Don’t let them in, find your way through the factory.
There are times when you enter the factory that things seem okay, someone greets you in the lobby, shakes your hand, then they turn into a screaming, raging nut, hellbent on the destruction of what you’ve created. They’ll grab you by your shirt, tell you you’re wasting your time, but once inside the factory walls it’s like armageddon and everyone you meet is someone from your life.
There’s the English teacher that hated your stories in college or high school, one of your parents that thinks your wasting your time, or a sibling that laughs every time you say you’re writing a book. And you can’t forget the co-worker who wants to know when it will be in stores. This is the person that feels like it’s their duty to make you feel even smaller. They don’t know you stay up at nights writing, revising, editing, rewriting and making sure the story is as perfect as possible before an agent sees it.
Toward the back of the factory, near the break room are the distractions, soda, tea, coffee, crackers and chocolate. They’re only there to make you crazy; sure you need something to munch on or drink while you’re writing, but make sure it’s with you when you sit down.
If you make it through the assembly line of shattered hopes, dreams, the books you stopped writing or the pile of rejections, you’re home free.
Get to the end, push them all aside and tell yourself, “I Will Finish This Book”, it’s only in telling yourself that you’re going to be published.
Are you stuck in the Doubt Factory, or are you running through screaming? Answer in the comments.