Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nothing To Say

It's been about a year. A wonderful, dream-at-least-partially-coming-true year since a friend from college asked me to submit a couple of trial columns to run in my local newspaper. I remember bouncing around the room with excitement after reading her email, squealing the news to my husband at the top of my lungs, galloping across the house and traumatizing my cats in the process as they fled under every available surface seeking cover from the insane, giant cat lady. Then I remember the immediate crash, the paralyzing fear that coursed through my veins when the implications sank in, the implications of submitting something of my own creation from my own crazy brain and for public consumption, nonetheless, to an actual newspaper editor who would actually critique my work. Sending the first column very nearly made me puke.

After about a month of being a "guest columnist," my byline was changed to "columnist." I couldn't believe my good fortune, and the columns were such a pleasure to write! It seemed that I had endless ideas for new articles, and for those first couple of months, I hardly ever struggled with a topic. Then self-doubt came a-calling. I began to fear that I would run out of things to say. How could I possibly maintain new and refreshing topics for a weekly column? How could I, boring nerd-girl from boring-ville with no real story to tell, keep coming up with interesting and thought-provoking things to say? And more importantly, why would anyone want to read what I had to write?

Self-doubt's a bitch.

image source
Thankfully, I haven't run out of things to say yet. Although, I will sit at my computer sometimes on Sunday nights (I send my columns then so they'll be there for the editor on Monday morning) and think "Oh, my God" I have absolutely nothing to say. I'll sit for hours just staring. I'll surf the web, grasping for inspiration. I'll walk around. I'll eat a snack. I'll beg my husband for ideas. I'll do anything and everything just to hatch some inspiration. And somehow, magically we'll say because I don't know how the hell else it works, I always seem to land on something, sometimes just a partially formed thought that I have to hammer out and slave over to transform into a 600-word column befitting for anyone to actually read. No idea where this stuff comes from, but I can always seem to pull something out of my butt at the very last minute....let's hope that continues, because my column is my therapy, my joy, my real-world connection to what I want to do with my life. I would hate for my creativity to run dry and to lose it over something stupid like "writer's block."

Today self-doubt came for another visit, seems she sort of likes it around here...probably because I buy into her tricks so easily. This time she visited the blog. She taunted me, teased me, made me think that I had nothing else to say or share with my readers. She led me to believe that what I wrote wasn't as interesting or as engrossing as other bloggers and had me scrambling for my purpose and footing in bloggyland. Then I decided to draw inspiration from the bitch herself, to write about how I hate her and how I wish I could stamp away feelings of inadequacy and doubt. A little self-doubt is okay I guess; it can even inspire. The trick is to never let that doubt consume or define you. Just so me and self-doubt are clear, I decided I'd write an open letter to her, just letting her know how I feel about her "nothing to say" theory.

Dear Self-Doubt,

You obviously don't know me very well, so allow me to introduce you to me. I'm a talker. I always seem to have something to say, some stray thought running through my brain...having nothing to say doesn't really register on my radar. I even get on people's nerves I talk so much sometimes, but that's okay because that's who I am. 

I'm also an observer. I watch and then I write about what I watched. I find inspiration in the tiniest of places and run with it. I'll write about my observations and experiences, and if ever I find those observations or experiences lacking, I'll let my imagination take over and write a tall tale about origami birds flying in a seer-sucker sky

I won't run out of things to say, and I will continue to write until I die, because it's what I love to do and it's who I spite of everything and in spite of you.

Bite me.


"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." - Sylvia Plath


  1. I need to copy this letter and send it to my bitch, with your permission, of course.

    Moments of feeling wordless, but not thought-less, happen to me constantly. Sometimes, it's just getting the two processes to meet halfway and encourage my fingers tap out writings worth sharing.

    Of course, after I complete something, even more self-doubt kicks in about the quality of what I've written. I commend and congratulate you on writing a column. Guts and imagination? You certainly have both..would love to read your work!

    Have a lovely day,


  2. Self doubt IS a b@tch! She follows me to more than just my blog (while trying on swimsuits, speaking to a crowd, applying for anything writer-ly). Thank you for telling her off!

    And it's so neat that you write a column. Now I can say that 'I know a columnist' :)

  3. When I used to write a column for my hometown paper, I used to feel the same way. It was hard to have to be funny for the blog and then do the paper.
    Love your letter to self doubt. I could have used that many times.

  4. Self doubt and self esteem are something I have struggled with my whole life. Sometimes you have to just tell yourself how awesome you are and move on down the road. Do you ever post your columns here for us to see? That would be super neat!

  5. Oh how I know you're feeling! Just started writing a column myself and it is a challenge! Especially since I got a tough topic. Thanks for the words though. You made me laugh and I love to laugh so I will be following you. Feel free to come visit if you'd like.

  6. I can SO relate! I started my blog last Oct. and it's been such a struggle! I couldn't believe how hard it was because I have been writing for years! Self-doubt you're getting a letter!!

  7. Ugh, we all struggle with this. I know I do. CNG has grown so much and you have such a loyal base of readers...because you are ENGAGING and INTERESTING and SWEET. Why the all caps? I don't know. Anyway, you just keep doing what you have been doing and I see big things in your future. BIG : )

  8. Sometimes having nothing to say turns out wonderfully. You will never run out of inspiration, I am sure!

  9. Preach it girl!

    Did you know that I was coming over here to tell you that I just nominated you for June's blog of the month at FTLOB? Did you know that???? Well it's true. Tell Self Doubt to shove that one where the sun don't shine!

    You're to coolest :)

  10. Thanks for the understanding and support, guys! It means a whole heckuva lot to me!

    Dweej: Nu-uh! For real?! I think I may be freaking out now...thank you so much. Sincerely. Coming from you that's like...awesome times a thousand.

  11. I found your blog through a blog hop and am now following you with twitter, FB & GFC. I'd love it if you could stop by and follow me back. Thanks and have a great weekend!


Thank you for leaving ♥!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...