Kill Those Weeds

Yesterday, I announced to my friends that I would be entering a writing competition in the school.

Friend:
A writing competition, ay?

Me: Yep. I reckon I can win. I’ve got this great story.

I sounded confident (probably because I was. I was going to enter my best short story). My friend must of notice because he commented on it.

Friend: You sound confident. What [marks] do you get for English?

Me: Uh, a B?

Friend: *Looks at me like I’m crazy* A B? And you think you can win? (This comment was innocent, and that he had probably had no idea how devastating they were.)

That’s all it took to sow seeds of doubt into my mind. I went from being confident in my ability to write a good story and win (at the very least, place) in the comp, to being doubtful, and filled with ‘what if’s.

What if he’s right?
What if I do really bad?
What if my writing isn’t as good as I think it is?

And so, I pondered his remarks during the day. At one point, I almost decided not to enter.

But, you know what? Those ‘seeds of doubt’ are actually ‘weeds of doubt’, and how do gardeners get rid of weeds? They kill them! [I’m talking about the weeds of doubt, not my friend]

So I’m killing those weeds. I’m ignoring his comments.

I KNOW I’m a good writer.

I KNOW I’m a good writer.

I KNOW I’m a good writer.

(Now I’m chanting it in my head).

How do you kill those weeds of doubt?

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6 Responses to Kill Those Weeds

  1. AshN says:

    Well, I buy a bottle of absinthe and …No, just kidding. That’s not a good method; it stops working as soon as you’re sober.

  2. Wendy says:

    I think seeds of doubt will always be there. It’s what makes us human sadly. However, by posting this, you have answered your own question. Can you do it? Indeed you can 🙂

  3. Anna says:

    Don’t let him get to you. I think your stories are great. (And I’m really picky.)

    I pulled some pretty low marks in academic writing, but it wasn’t the grammar or sentence structure that was the issue, it was the type of writing we were doing. Anytime we were allowed to write fiction I did very well and usually didn’t receive any marks off.

    A lot of times people don’t mean to say things that are crushing, so we can’t let their remarks get to us either. Easier said than done. Just ignore the nay sayers, pay attention to constructive criticism (the stuff that will actually make you a better writer) and keep writing. Each story you write will be better than the rest (since practice makes perfect).

  4. Anna: Thanks for your kind words. You’ve made my day!
    I struggle with writing short stories for English, but I think that’s because I have it has to meet so much criteria – based on a poem, include imagery, focus on making the setting really realistic etc.

  5. Feywriter says:

    I didn’t get the best marks in my creative writing class. I wasn’t too big on writing on topic. Like you said about criteria: write a realism story, a picture book. And all the technical stuff I already knew, so got bored there.

    I save the best praise I get on my writing, so I can read it over when I’m doubting and remember that SOMEONE believes in me. Even when I don’t believe in myself.

    Great post. I literally laughed out loud at your aside about killing the weeds and not your friend. Good luck with the contest!

  6. Eliza says:

    @AshN: The absinthe works long enough to get the manuscript to the mail box…and fades as soon as you realize you got the address wrong. Oh well, baby steps!

    Whenever I get weedy, I tell myself I’m going to change my career to accountant. Then I do a little research on accountant classes. That’s usually sufficient to get me back on track because wow- I do NOT want to crunch numbers for a living. Like aversion therapy. 🙂

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