Beautifully indulgent self-doubt.

I’m sat here with my headphones on, listening to some midi (music) files I wrote about ten years ago (TEN YEARS!) and feeling incredibly proud of myself because they aren’t that bad. I’m genuinely surprised they aren’t awful. Even so, listening to the stuff I wrote on the computer all those years ago is an interesting journey and horrifically self-indulgent (also a very guilty pleasure).

An unwanted side-effect is the crippling self-doubt. I lost my ability to play properly many years ago and don’t have the patience or time to learn again.

And I wonder how long it will be before I lose the other skills…

Or whether I really had any in the first place?

Every time I begin a new creative venture, I worry I’ll suck the life out of it. I began the rewrite of the novel I wrote in the summer and already it’s not what I thought it would be. It feels dry like week-old bread.

I’m scared I won’t be able to do it again – the brilliance I mean. I’ll put this GREATNESS on my shoulders then become lost to it as I stare at the pedestal of expectation I’ve built for myself.

What if I’m just plain old NOT GOOD ENOUGH? What if they figure out that I’m an imposter and I’ve blagged my way here with no real skill or talent, just a hope and a bit of faked confidence? What if my lack of skill is uncovered and I’m marching myself straight into the arms of failure?

What is the worst that can happen if I’m found out?

People might laugh.

So what. I like to make people laugh. I get pleasure out of being at the centre of a laughing group. I’m a try-hard clown (who isn’t very good at clowning).

People might ridicule me

If they’re laughing at me, they’re leaving someone else alone. I openly accept I’m a twat. Bring it.

People might swear at me

Nothing new there.

People might tell me I’m crap.

See above.

I might not live up to my own standards….


There is the problem.

I MIGHT not live up to MY OWN standards.

Those high expectations I have for myself. The bar I’ve set which is way higher than is humanly possible. I know all this. I know.

And I was really talented.


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6 thoughts on “Beautifully indulgent self-doubt.

  1. You still ARE really talented! Maybe you should make this the year that you get back into some music-making? I know you don’t have much time to spare but then you always seem to be able to fit lots in. Just stick at the book writing and editing. Am looking forward to reading one of your books one of these days. The finished, published, brilliant article. Lovely to have you back on #whatImWriting!

    1. Maybe! I’ve definitely felt more musically productive so far this year. I keep thinking “This week I’ll get on it…” and then don’t get a chance to post. I have a block when it comes to the blank page at the moment, even though I don’t have anything to be afraid of.
      You’re doing marvellously with the linky and #whatimwriting, btw. Don’t know if I’ve told you that yet? x

  2. What Maddy said. You are DEFINITELY still talented. I can’t speak for your music, but your writing is brilliant. Having said that, I totally get the self-doubt and not living up to your own standards thing. But it’s good to have high expectations of yourself, right? And it’s totally cool to fail to meet them. Just don’t stop. That would be a real shame. xx

    1. Thank you, Sophie. I’ve not stopped, just been busy with life stuff. Going through a bit of a gentle lull at the moment xx

    1. Thank you 🙂 Yes, it does take time and it’s rather comforting that other people who, from the outside look like they have it together, are struggling with themselves as well!

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