Firstly there was the weekly visit to the new Writers' Workshop I've joined. The idea in general is to read your work and get constructive feedback from the others. I joined so that I could test my recent collection of short stories on some fresh ears. I had positive feedback from my regular two readers but still felt like I needed a wider audience. Of the other eight or so members of the group the feedback veered towards the positive. I was able to look at the piece I read an excerpt from and go back and make some tweaks and have improved the story in my mind. Mostly I feel more confident about what I'd written so that was one thing to check off my Doubt list.
Then there was the question of trying to find an author to read and, hopefully, endorse my novel before publication. I didn't know how to go about it at first and was nervous about approaching someone I didn't know to help me out like that. But I bit the bullet and sent out emails and letters to my most respected authors or their agents. I never expected to hear back from them. I thought, forget it, they'll all be too busy to bother with me. But I did get a response from a couple. (So far). They didn't laugh in my face (or have their agent do it for them). One couldn't help and very kindly and politely said why and one said she would read it but no guarantees of an endorsement. That was a start, at least. I'm still hopeful that something will come out of it. And, hey, if you don't ask you don't get, right?
Lastly was my coming across a short story writing competition which I wanted to enter but only had two days to the deadline! The requirement was a story under 2000 words with a theme to follow. My question was, would I have enough time to produce something that would stand up against all the other entries in such a short space of time. I went ahead and challenged myself. I did seek approval from one of my trusty readers. She loved it. Always an encouraging sign so I've entered away!
As to whether or not I'll get short listed, it really doesn't matter. What matters is that I stopped doubting that I was good enough and just went ahead and tried. It is now my aim to stop worrying, questioning or doubting my ability. I write because I love to create and I can only be me. It is for another person to decide whether they like what I create. I can't control that.
I may improve, I may change how I write but at least it will come from the heart and hopefully it will be enjoyed.
Do you ever have moments when you're not sure about your writing? It's only human right? How do you cope? I'd love to hear from you.