A Letter To Doubt
I’m in the middle of taking book coaching classes from Author Accelerator, and one of the assignments I completed this week was a letter to my doubt. I’ve never been much for grand statements, and honestly, writing this letter felt a little wonky to me. But, my doubt is a real thing. I wouldn’t say it holds me back, but it’s definitely an ever present entity in my mind.
Taking responsibility for somebody else’s words in incredibly humbling…and nerve-wracking. And facing the fact that I’m scared and unsure ended up feeling liberating. I acknowledged my doubt instead of letting it control me. I admitted that I was afraid.
It was weirdly…easy.
The final part of the lesson was to share my letter, which I did in the Teachable app where the classes are (the only one so far. Come on guys, no need to be shy!). Then I shared it with my critique partner, who encouraged me to share it with the world.
I think everyone can find value in recognizing and acknowledging their doubt. I hope all of you sit down in the coming week and draft a letter to your doubt, whether it’s about writing, coaching, or some other aspect of your life. It’s a uniquely powerful experience. Feel free to share in the comments below.
I’m not sure where you came from. Seems to me you’ve always been there, whispering to me on long, sleepless nights. Maybe I’m a writer, but I’m not a good writer. Maybe I have an agent, but I’ll never sell my book. I think I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been to countless classes. I’ve worked hard to get here, but you’re probably right. There are things I still don’t know. Holes in my knowledge that must be filled.
And now I want to teach others? Take responsibility for their failures and shortcomings, and let them become my own? Who exactly do I think I am? Not a guru, for certain. Not an expert.
Since you’re already here, and it doesn’t seem you’ll be leaving anytime soon (or ever), I’ll deal with you the same way I always have, by proving you wrong. Just like my writing has grown and evolved since I first put pen to paper, so will my knowledge as a book coach. Circumstances, whether easy or hard won, will lead to experience. And with everything I learn, you, my doubt, will lessen.
Putting myself out there, taking a risk, and learning something new doesn’t make me unworthy. I’m not less simply because I’m inexperienced. I am clay, malleable and mold-able, ready to transform into something new.
I am brave.
It’s getting difficult to hear you over excitement in my thoughts. Hard work got me here and hard work will continue to sustain me. Maybe you’ll always be there, whispering, but I’ll talk louder. I’ll fill the world with my intentions and my support and my drive to give back as others have given to me. And maybe, with all the noise and change I’m creating out in the world, in the lives of other writers, I’ll forget to listen to you. I’ll help others find their voices, and they will rise up better for my help.
Instead of taking on their failures, I’ll take their successes.
Hear that doubt? It’s getting awfully loud in here, and I’m just getting started.
K.C. Karr writes about brave teenagers and unfortunate situations. As a former high school winterguard coach, she finds that young voices tell the best, most truthful stories. She’s been an editor, a social media director, and longtime member of the critique group Flint Area Writers. K.C. is currently working toward becoming a certified book coach through Author Accelerator and is a proud YA mentor in this year’s #WriteMentor contest. www.kckarr.com