I love to read my favorite authors, but it's a double-edged sword. I alternate between being inspired by their greatness, and wallowing in the certainty that I'll never be as good as any of them.
The only way to get through this is to remind myself that each of those great writers started out as a beginner, just like me. They wrote books that have never been published, received rejections from agents and editors, and sometimes still struggle with self-doubt.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Just like a swimmer doesn't make the Olympics without years of training, practice, technique refinement, and discipline, a writer must continue to improve her craft, write every day, query agents/editors, and never give up.
A swimmer has a coach, I have a critique partner. A swimmer has teammates, I have chapter mates. A swimmer–if she's lucky–has a supportive family, I have mine. A swimmer has a swimsuit…well, moving along…
UPDATE 12/21/09: I was reminded by a faithful fan, that like a swimmer, I have fans who support me along the way, too. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by supportive people!
How do you get past your self-doubt and keep writing?
The Daily Squirrel: snow
Kelly jogged along the trail adjoining the road and watched the pine trees rustle in the bitter wind as snow fell in wet clumps all around her. Every last inch of her body was covered except for her cheeks and nose. Sunglasses cut the glare and blocked the wind that seeped in through every seam of her clothes.
Still, she loved the serene stillness of a snowy day. The white blanket cleaned the normally foul-smelling air and muted the usual din. Her lungs burned with each frosty breath, even as her body heated and relaxed into the rhythm of her run.
Inhale, step, exhale, step. The meditative movement soothed her mind as the exertion cleansed her soul. These stolen moments of time alone were worth more than the wealth her mother sought in men's arms, more than anything someone could give to her.
For those few moments, surrounded by the frozen landscape, she could taste freedom. One day soon, she vowed, she'd keep right on running.