Imposter syndrome, fear of criticism, and creative blocks. Some more legitimate than others, but all real. I would know, I’ve had them. But, despite being a nervous, introverted, lessening-so-but-still-shy person, I’ve done a good enough job of being out there with my artistic work.
Those issues I listed come down to a little voice telling us we are failures, that we are about to get shanked by the world at large for our lack of talent. And, while I don’t know how to make myself able to tell a speech to a crowd, I have advice for how to slay this beast of a voice.
The trick is to adopt a careful, artistic, weighted idea of fuck it all. Your first draft has problems? Fuck it all. Write each new chapter, each new version of an article, each variant of a speech, in a new document, and don’t you dare look back. Copy it when you need to edit and rip the new version apart—but don’t even consider it, recall it, ruminate on it, until you are ready to tear that creation a new hole.
Once you post something: never read it again. Unless you are actively trying to see your own flaws. But, if that is your intent, I can tell you this: that’s an unnecessary step.
You’ll find your own flaws just well enough without gazing back. You’ll recall those errors subconsciously anyway and other people will point it out to you.
Stephen King is famous for a lot of things, but also for the phrase “kill your darlings.”
And the trick is to take the saying as far as needed. But not to destroy. Just to move past: forget. I am often reminded that I wrote something because I am always running forward word-wise, not dwelling on what I post.
Give a creation all your care, heart, and attention when you are doing it. Then, once it is out—unless you need to interact with the work for, say, marketing purposes—think of it not. Your art is yours—it is your soul—but you must leave your creations for others to enjoy, to pick apart.
The voice needs ammo. Bury that ammo in new things. Out-make doubt. It will never go away—I hear it all the time. Uncertainty is eternal. But, skill and practice give you a counter-argument stronger and stronger enough to shove that fucker back down where it belongs.
Every post, book, article, poem sent out into the world is proof against that tiny voice.
That it is not your owner.