Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Artist and Insecurity

post by Michelle Griep
I chatted briefly with one of my authorly buddies the other day. She's in the throes of writing book #5 and is currently battling the demon of Sweet Mercy! Who do I think I am? I can't write a book. I don't know what I'm doing. Gah! Stop the ride; I want to get off!

To which I echo a hearty, "Amen! Preach it, sistah."

Does that freak you out? You're in good company. It surprises a lot of people to discover writers deal with insecurity no matter how many books they've got on Amazon's shelves. Yes, even bonafide big-name-topping-the-NY-Times-Bestseller-List kinds of authors struggle with self-doubt. Such is the nature of creating art. But there are a few tips I've learned over the years to lessen the sometimes paralyzing impact when lack of confidence hits.

Top 3 Ways to Beat Insecurity

#1. Gag the voice in your head.
There are enough haters in the world saying nasty things about your art. You can't do much about that, but you can do something about the voice in your head trash talking your abilities. Shut up the negative comments that you give yourself. Be mindful of your thoughts. Keep the "Can Do" and ditch the "Loser" phrases when referring to yourself.

#2. Stop the comparison game.
You create art like you do because . . . well . . . you are you. You are not Steinbeck. You're not Grisham. And that's fantastic because we already have books written by them. The world needs more of your art, created like only you can create.

#3. Surround yourself with cheerleaders.
If some people suck the creative juices out of your bone marrow, here's a little tip . . . don't hang out with them. Stay with your tribe of people who "get" your art. Not that you shouldn't listen to criticism, even from one of your natives. I'm just saying everyone needs a cheerleader now and then to survive this world of naysayers.

These are the three ways I hold insecurity at bay, but I do have a little disclaimer: a teensy smattering of insecurity is good. It keeps you humble. It keeps you reaching for a more purified and fresh way to present your art. Just be careful you don't wallow in it.

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