Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Self-Doubt: The Biggest Bully

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 by Lisa Ricard Claro   No Comments Yet | Posted in Uncategorized

A sincere Thank You! to everyone for your concern and kind comments following last week’s blog post. JoJo passed away at four in the morning last Wednesday. She died at peace, surrounded by loved ones.

Our little Maddie is still in the hospital. The doctors say she can go home on Friday! That’s a huge step forward. Your continued good thoughts and prayers on her behalf are appreciated.




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Self-doubt is the biggest bully in the room.


Self-doubt is an insidious thing. Paralyzing and destructive, it causes us creative types to dive into the bottle, or a bag of M&Ms as the case may be—hey, don’t judge—or worse, to abandon a manuscript 40,000 words in because the monster convinced us our words/plot/characters were unworthy.

In an old but still relevant post by James Scott Bell  (Kill Zone 07/10/2011) titled “Writers and Doubt,” he does his level best to convince us that even Stephen King wrestles the beast of self-doubt. I don’t know about that one, Buttercup. Maybe once upon a time, back when Mr. King didn’t know whether his manuscript would find a publisher, but now? I might have to call shenanigans on that one. In any event, Mr. Bell includes in his post this quote by Dick Simon of Simon and Schuster: “All writers are scared to death. Some simply hide it better than others.”

The rotten thing about self-doubt is the “self” part. Self-doubt isn’t the same as the doubt of others. The doubt of others toward what we do blows for sure, but it doesn’t live with us. But Self-doubt? That bastard showers with us and joins us for meals, accompanies us to the theater and sits with us at the keyboard, making us question our work even as we pound the keys.

Self-doubt is the biggest bully in the room.

The only way I know to combat Self-doubt is to keep on writing. The bully, thus ignored, is lost to silence against the power of the story. My characters beat him back with smart-ass remarks and he’s buried beneath the plot and pace. Oh, I know Self-doubt will rise again—and maybe his phoenix qualities are a blessing in disguise. Perhaps Self-doubt is the reason I return to the keyboard, to the story, to the characters, time and again. They are the power that holds the bully at bay, and if I stop, if I let him win, it will be the end of me.


Self-doubt may be your companion, but he isn’t your master.


Whether you are a writer, painter, singer, actor, candle maker or sea shell collector, remember: Self-doubt may be your companion, but he isn’t your master. Beat the bully. Keep doing what you love to do. You’ll prove him wrong every time you succeed.

Do you suffer from self-doubt in any area of your life? How do you wrestle the bully and push past the negative to focus on the positive? Are you successful at beating the bully?

Hope you have a great week! See you next Wednesday for more of the naked truth.


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