‘Cause you gotta have faith!

Ever had those times where faith runs low?  Distressing events lowering your faith in your Higher Power, life in general lowering your faith in yourself, losing faith in humanity…

Authors are required to have a bit of faith in themselves, since at some level you believe there is someone out there who wants to read your work.  You believe you have something to contribute to the literary world, be it a sprawling epic or just that one idea that you believe is a universal truth you need to get out there to the widest possible audience.

Almost every artistic field needs faith, as they need the belief in themselves that the work they do is going to make a difference to someone’s life.  To add to the fun, they need to hold on to that faith for a large period of time before it will ever be vindicated by the target audience.  How badly do you feel for the authors and artists who are heralded posthumously, never seeing how their work has affected others?

For the last month or so, it hasn’t felt like anything I have done has been done well.  Even when trying my best to do my best, it has still ended up causing issues.  The most frustrating of all is when your best effort is undone by basic errors.  When all you want to do is do something well, it destroys your confidence.

And it gets worse when the destruction of faith leaches over into your other pursuits, reinforcing the proverbial “Writer’s Block”.

Gotta keep fighting.

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12 responses

  1. Dear DJ, As I have learned from you yourself, sometimes the best way to overcome one’s own self-doubts and faith problems is to believe those of your audience who DO get in touch with you and praise your work, and I know from reading people commenting on your site that you have those. If at the moment you can’t believe in yourself, then believe us, your friends, followers, commenters: we value what you have to say and the stories you write, and are looking forward to reading the “Big Project” when it comes out. Just give it time and patience, and “all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”

    1. Seconded on every count 🙂

    2. Here’s hoping the ‘Big Project’ makes some good progress in the next few months, when it will be my panacea after many hours spent studying Advanced Taxation =S

  2. You should have faith, D. J. Your work is good. You have amazing substance and imagination. If you feel like you are stumbling with logistical things or execution (things I never get a handle on when I’m drafting) remember the power of the beta reader and the editor. You might not decide you want that or you might chose to ignore what they say even, it’s your work and you can do what you want and have the final say. But nothing is perfect first time round and above everything else you should make yourself happy with it, do what you enjoy. I accepted I will never be perfect and I will never stop learning. I still have the odd dark night of the soul but it passes because I tell myself I’m doing this because I love it. And if you’re enjoying it and enjoy the process then nothing should dampen that 🙂

    1. The pitfalls of being a Virgo! Darn perfectionism!

      Thank you for the kind words =)

      1. It’s good to be a perfectionist 😀 It means you’re dedicated and passionate. I’ve never met a successful, complacent writer!

      2. James Patterson? Does he write his own books anymore, or just ‘mentor’ other writers and get his name on the book cover?

      3. If that’s true he blows! But he must have had passion to start with. I would hope so anyway!

      4. He makes a truckload of money! I am sure passionless people do not find ways to make squillions =)

  3. Not to put too finer point on it, screw the inner voice. Basic mistakes are easily remedied and you have your loyal followers who are fairer critics compared to your overly harsh outlook. Take a bit of a time out, ignore everything for a week then come back to it and smite the hell out of it, faith restored!

    1. Cheers for the feedback Ste, and the encouraging words =)

  4. […] ‘Cause you gotta have faith! (djamesfortescue.wordpress.com) […]

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