Self Doubt & Other Things That Go Bump In The Night

I love to write. I always have, and I hope I always will. There’s something to me about being able to create a world that doesn’t exist. I can put whoever I want into that world (including myself), and anything can happen. Not only can I create worlds, I can also invite people into them. The biggest compliment you could give to my writing is that I made you laugh out loud, hurt with my protagonist, or maybe even cry in the end. I love that by piecing words together, I create a whole new universe that has the power to seriously mess you up. In a good way.

I love going back and re-reading what I’ve written. I always surprise myself and think, “You crafty devil, I see what you did there.” I love the emotion that comes from my writing. There are times when I’ve gotten so emotionally invested, I’ll cry as I read my own work. The reason is because I’ve pour my heart and my soul into my writing. To me, it is a work of art.

The worst, most terrible thing for any artist, no matter the medium, is self doubt. If you don’t know what that is, you’ve been blessed. Self doubt is that tiny little voice in the back of your head that wonders if you’ll ever be good enough.
“A rejection letter? Maybe my writing is no good after all.”
“She read that really fast and said it was ‘fine’. Just fine?”
“What if no one likes my blog post?”
“What if everyone is afraid to tell me how bad my writing is?”
“What if…?”

Let me stop right there. The “what ifs” are probably the worst thing you can do to yourself. And it doesn’t matter how many motivational ‘Hang in there!’ posters I have if my self doubt kicks in. Self doubt can burn my whole operation to the ground.


The above picture is my desktop background. Each of the pictures represent something I care about that usually gets destroyed because of my own self doubt. I may have the creativity, the drive, the motivation, the master plan, but if I have a little bit of self doubt, all of the afore mentioned can come tumbling to the ground.

I started doing something a while back. I started saving rejection letters and criticism. Now, I don’t take rejection very well at all. I love people and I want people to love me back. My dream is for everyone who reads my work to think “Wow! What an amazing writer. She captures her thoughts into words so well.”  I realize that won’t happen every time, but it’s a hope. Getting rejection letters and criticism can sting, but if I let those things discourage me now, I’ll never reach my goals. Instead, I started looking at rejection and criticism as a way to grow. In a way, saving them gave them validity. It gave them space somewhere other than my junk inbox. It gave them a voice that said, “You aren’t there yet. How can you get better? Impress me.”

“Rejection letters are a healthy part of the process of writing. Stabilizing, even. They ground you, helping to at least tether your feet to solid ground. Stephen King collected rejection letters for years, tacking them to the cork board in his bedroom, starting at the age of thirteen. With each no, he knew he was one step closer to that yes.” Linda, Book Mama

Stephen King has a gorgeous list of 20 Rules for Writers. The top-most one on the list is this: 1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” 

I don’t know if you saw it, but the cover photo for this post is of a tiny piece of blue paper that I tacked to my mini cork board at work. Since I try and write during my lunch break, having it right there is a great reminder.


Who are YOU writing for?

It’s a good question. If I’m writing for other people first and foremost, how can I ever be most true to myself? It’s like a painter who only paints requests from other people. It isn’t necessarily bad (especially if you’re doing it to pay the bills), but if you are so consumed with what other people think, you’ll miss out on the whole picture.






P.S. If you are interested in Why I Write, check it out here.


Mondays get such a bad rep. Everyone talks about how awful Mondays are:

“Ugh, Mondays are the worst.”
“If I just make it through this Monday, I’ll be fine.”
“I need some #MondayMotivation for such a horrible day.”

Whoa now! What did Monday ever do to you? Monday just wants you to love it and accept it and it wants to be helpful. If Monday could be manifested, it would be a not-yet-potty-trained puppy. It makes messes, but can’t stop wiggling its butt at you because it just wants you to love it SO MUCH. It doesn’t know what it’s done wrong and why you are mad at it, so it rolls over on it’s own mess. And here we are getting all frustrated and annoyed when Monday is just a puppy.

Now Tuesdays. Tuesdays are an entirely different matter. Tuesdays are conniving little snakes that slither in when you least expect them and MURDER YOU. Or at least murder your innocence.

Allow me to present a Hannecdote to explain:

Emily has enjoyed her weekend. She slept in and painted a little. She baked a pie and ate the whole thing. She feels rested after two days off from work and stress. Monday morning she is prepared for five more days of work until the weekend. Emily is bummed, but understands that this is a Monday occurrence and has prepared herself for a case-of-the-Mondays attitude. Surprisingly, the day goes by quickly, and Emily is very thankful for the weekend she had to renew her energy. She goes to bed Monday night, still thinking about her lovely weekend and looks forward to the next one.

Emily awakens Tuesday morning and finds that she hates the world. For no apparent reason other than it is a terrible day. She doesn’t quite understand, but during her day she can’t seem to get the energy she needs and counts the days till Saturday. 1, 2, 3, 4. Four whole days until Saturday. The energy she had gained over her weekend she had used up on Monday, preparing herself for the worst. Right under her own nose, Tuesday had weasled it’s way into her week. The weekend had JUST happened and she was already longing for the next one. She had been so innocent before, but now she knew the horrors a Tuesday could provide. She goes to bed annoyed at the lengthened distance between herself and her freedom.

Wednesday dawns, and Emily thinks to herself “It’s hump day! Half way through the week!” With this though in mind, the day passes quickly with the comfort that she’s made it half way. Thursday blooms with the promise of tomorrow being Friday, and Friday excites her with the simple fact that it’s Friday. She has made it to the weekend again! If only there hadn’t been that pesky Tuesday in the middle.

The End.

Do you see what I mean? Tuesday slithers its way into our week and surprises us with the awfulness. Even as I write this, I think of  Tuesday as a slimy, sneaky, greedy, selfish, evil, maniacal laughing snake. Its very nature is to contort and ruin and destroy. Evil evil Tuesdays.

And have you guessed yet? It’s Tuesday. I’m not a fan of Tuesdays.

BUT! I have found a solution that helps. My roommate Ri and I realized that we don’t get to spend as much time together as we would like. We have decided that every Tuesday night, when I’m home from work, and she’s home from student teaching, we Processed with VSCO with x1 presetwill do something. Last week we had no motivation so we just watched Netflix. This week we are going shopping because I don’t have nearly enough clothes in my closet or enough mugs in my cabinet. The point is, we spend time together on Tuesday nights. With that to look forward to, it makes my Tuesday a little bit better. If you can find something to do on Tuesday to help you look forward to the day rather than dread it, you’ll be beating the sneaky day instead of being sucker punched by it. If you have any other ideas that’ll help me get through Tuesday, I’ll gladly take any suggestions.

And remember! #BeNiceToMonday
She’s just a little puppy that wants to be productive.


Eucalyptus & Basil

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At work, I have a couple things on my desk that make me happy. I’ve put these things on my desk because every day life gets boring pretty quickly, and having things that make me smile can help a frustrating weekday go from poop to slightly less smelly poop. It’s the little things. One of these things is my Eucalyptus & Basil lotion from Bath & Body Works. It’s a whole stress relief aromatherapy thing that makes my day so much better. The front says: Relax and Refresh. A blend of Essential Oils that help combat mental fatigue to instill clarity. Probably smart for a person who gets really tired sitting at a desk all day long. It also smells gorgeous and the bottle advises you to “breathe deeply for best results,” which I do often and throughout my day.

My fiance knows I tend to over stress things sometimes and I get hyped up over stuff I shouldn’t. It ends up going to my head and I find myself with a migraine and a tightening in my chest that used to only occur during finals week in college. Partially it has to do with the fact that I’m a procrastinator through and through. It makes writing and deadlines really hard for me, and even small things turn into giant mountains. I get really intimidated with concepts, too. Like adulting. The concept of being an adult with real adult responsibilities terrifies me.

SIDENOTE: The word “adulting” makes me laugh. My computer doesn’t like it apparently because it gives me that red squiggly line underneath it that says: “You dummy. You don’t know how to spell words.” Since I tend to make up words to suit myself, I see that red squiggle a lot. It makes sense that the word “adulting” isn’t actually a real word, since the only time I’ve heard people use it are little kids like me, trapped in adult bodies. The use of the word is usually two adult-children trying to relate to one another the hopeless nonsensical feeling of…well, adult-ness. But back back to what I was saying before…

Being an adult is harder than I thought. Not so much that paying bills is scary, but more that there’s no one looking over my shoulder to make sure I’m doing it right. For some reason, graduating from college turned me into real mouth-breathing adult that they let do stuff. It’s like deciding that just because a kid likes unicorns you should give her glitter. You think to yourself, “She’s responsible enough not to spread glitter like the plague because she likes unicorns.”Faulty logic, my friend. Faulty logic. No human should ever be trusted with glitter.

Finding peace in the little things is something I’m trying to do lately and my Eucalyptus & Basil lotion does it. I slather it on and then take a second to breathe it in. It smells like freshness and an herb garden. It makes me want to move to Italy, honestly. Kick off my shoes and have a glass of blackberry wine. I feel like running through a vineyard in sandals and a fun summer dress, my hair (magically curled) blowing beautifully in the wind. It’s important to have things in your life that make you feel that way. I’m trying to make it a habit where I stop and really appreciate where I’m at. Even though it might be another stressful Tuesday, I can breathe in that Eucalyptus & Basil and remember that I have a job that pays my bills, a huge window by my desk, and a nose that works enough to be able to enjoy it all.

I have all of these things, and yet it’s easy to forget or get stressed out. The bottle on my desk doesn’t have magic powers, but it does remind me to take part in the moment I’m in. To breathe and appreciate where I’m at right now.

I guess in the end it starts with the small things like Eucalyptus & Basil.