Monday, February 14, 2011

Please Tell Me There’s Hope for Me

According to the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual Volume 4(DSM 1V), "obsessions are persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate." To give you an example, it’s like having a song you recently heard go through your head continually even though you want it to stop.

I read recently that one of the driving forces of the compulsions is constant doubt. Which got me thinking, you know? I’m not a complainer. Not aloud, anyway. I complain to myself, which is bad enough. I guess it’s fine sometimes to have doubts about yourself. But I do it too often, and now I wonder if I suffer from this Obsessive Compulsive Disorder thing.

While agonizing on the last chapters of my second novel (and then the process of editing, of course), I tend to criticize and compare myself to other writers. I’m not as good. And to demonstrate it, I’m not published yet. I feel as if I’m frozen in place because it has taken me forever to finish my second book. And while cultivating the plagued-by-doubt-syndrome, I procrastinate, find excuses to do anything but write.

Click to show "Mother Teresa" result 16
A recent publication on Mother Teresa titled, "Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light", is a compilation of letters written by her over a 60 year period. They show that for a few weeks in 1959, Mother Teresa never once felt the presence of Jesus and often plagued by doubt about the existence of God.


So maybe there’s still hope for me.



26 comments:

Claudia Del Balso said...

Hi Henya,
We're humans so it's normal to doubt ourselves. I like to believe that we all have the potential to be creative and to accomplish our goals. We just have to have the drive (and in most cases, for us writers, find the time to do it). So don't feel bad about doubting yourself. Benjaming Franklin said, "When in doubt, don't." ;)

Poetic Justice said...

The good ole DSM! I have Bi-Polar II Henya. Even with medication and therapy, my life is a constant struggle between highs and lows. When I am hypomanic, I write like a fiend. Creativity flows from every part of me. When I am down, I can barely string a single thought together, let alone write anything someone else would want to read. Like Claudia said, we are human and it's natural to doubt ourselves. Everyone does that, not just people with OCD, Bi-Polar or any other mental illness. You are not weak for having self doubts. Keep on keeping on girl, you are not alone :)
~Michelle

David Bridger said...

I have to take issue with something. You say:

"I’m not as good. And to demonstrate it, I’m not published yet."

The one doesn't follow the other. It isn't cause and effect. The only thing not being published yet means is that you aren't published yet. What it doesn't mean, is that you're not good enough.

We're all works in progress. Enjoy the process. :)

Henya said...

Thanks Claudia. Benjamin Franklin was a wise, wise man.

Henya said...

Oh Michelle, I promise to stop feeling sorry for myself. Thanks for the kind words.
:)

Henya said...

And yes, David. Yes. Yes.

Onlinetravelforum said...

Hope is everywhere, but we must manage it with our good deeds. Like you, I also look for hope in my personal world but doubt blows away all of my hope, nevertheless I am not hopeless, I am hopeful and waiting for a sunny life….

Thanks and good luck.

Henya said...

Thanks for your kind words.

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Hope springs eternal.

And like, David, says; 'We're all works in progress'.

All the best :)

Henya said...

Indeed, Wendy. Great work in progress.

WritingNut said...

Oye.. the story of my life! I think it's just natural for us to doubt ourselves, but just keep believing and hold on to that hope... don't worry... we'll get there :)

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

I think doubt is just part of the journey. If nothing else, it makes us redouble our efforts. And when we have those hopeful patches, we have more to be hopeful about.

Henya said...

WritingNut....Oye!!!! :) says it all. Kidding aside. I get these days, as most of us do...I suppose.

Henya said...

Elizabeth, the patches are sometimes greener than the others. It's a process of growing. (A better day today am happy to tell you :))

Diana said...

I feel the same way too sometimes, especially now that I started blogging. There are a lot of us out there. Keep going, improving, and loving why you started writing in the first place.

Henya said...

Yes, it's all so confusing - isn't it? But you're right...loving the craft is in itself a good thing.

Cheryl said...

Sure doubts can crop up. About love, about careers, about life. About everything. We all have them.

But they don't matter. If you're meant to be a writer, you write. If you doubt yourself enough to stop, you never were a writer.

You're a writer. Don't sweat the doubts.

Henya said...

Just what I needed to hear, Cheryl.

Elana Johnson said...

There's definitely hope! Every writer goes through this. I read stuff, and I'm like, "And you thought YOU could write a freaking novel???"

It's not pretty. But there is always hope.

Henya said...

"Hope" is a good word.
:)

shah said...

Thank you for popping by my blog today Henya. And for enjoying my little story.

I'd say there's hope for you. I believe all writers obsess and procrastinate at some point - I do ALL THE TIME!!

Shah. X

Henya said...

Nice seeing you here, Shah.
Appreciate the kind words...:)

Winfield H. Strock III said...

Doubt is the devil probing at your heart's defenses. Stay strong in your faith, whatever the source is. Love writing? Then write lovingly. If your work brings you near to tears months later, move on. Critique partners will bolster your defenses, or reflect your misgivings about your work. A writer's group can help you shake fear and evoke courage.

Henya said...

What lovely sentiments, Winfield. Your words are a soothing salve to my eyes.
:)

Catherine Stine said...

Hi
Here's a quote from Lillian Hellman that might inspire you--it's a fave of mine:
"I find that I should have listened to myself more, trusted my own instincts more, creating a world instead of romanticizing the control and commitment of others."

Henya said...

Lovely, Kitsy. Just lovely.
Thanks :)