Friday, August 06, 2004

FART & God bless fans

Self doubts can kill a writer's confidence. Heck, they're worse than computer crashes.

If a computer crashes and a writer has confidence, s/he can still scribble on a napkin and create. But once those sneaky selfdoubts creep in...watch out. Hard drive crash in the brain. Fingers freeze on keyboard. The loop begins. Goes something like this:

ohgeezwhythehellamiwritingthissentencethissentence
suckswhywouldmyherosaythatitsstupidawful

See?

It's a syndrome I call Fear Anxiety Reflex Tangent. Or FART for short.

It's literally a brain fart. Because it's nothing but your inner doubts breaking wind. It's rude and obnoxious and stinks. Because it messes with your head. You start thinking everything you wrote is terrible. Awful. Your own mother wouldn't put it on her fridge door. The cat wouldn't even want it in her litterbox.

Every writer goes through it one time or another. (Secret: even if they don't admit it!)

This is when you must call in troops. The Fans. Or if you're unpublished, The Supporters. (Friends who believe in you and your gift. Trust me, it IS a gift)

I go through my fan mail and read each sentence carefully. And I tell my brain, which is stuck in FART mode, that hey, someone else thinks I'm good! Validation! Brain stutters a bit, protests like an old Ford trying to move forward. Sometimes I can write again. Sometimes I know it's time to stop for a while.

So God bless the fans. The readers who keep an author going when the self doubts kick in.

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