Doubt is a daily occurrence.
I look at my writing every day and think, “Is this really any good? How good is it?”
I go on the social network platform Stage 32 where screenwriters socialise, work together, upload their work, and discuss screenwriting as an art. I’ve only been properly using the site for a month or so, and it’s filled me with a mixture of feelings. One of them doubt.
From the moment I decided I wanted to be a writer (In February after finishing the first draft of my novel) I knew I was going to be walking down a path that millions have trod down into a tough and long road.
I understand that becoming a writer is extremely difficult. I know it’s hard to get discovered. I know that it takes time to become a skilled user of the English language. I know that countless people have failed, and given up.
Doubt often leaves me sitting at my desk thinking about the things that motivate me, or why I bother doing this… shouldn’t I be working on something that is better to guarantee me a career in the future? Should I just give up and work solely on my sound design? Yeah, maybe. I like doing sound design. It’s fun.
So why do I keep doing it? Despite all the negativity that surrounds me?
Because I love doing it. That is it.
Sure there are other things I love doing that I could have a career with. Sound designing is a secondary path that I follow and intend to break into the industry with, as it’s a sought after discipline and I both enjoy it and can call myself ‘good’ at it.
But writing. It offers so much to me. I told myself years ago that I would always do what I loved, whether it made me a millionaire or I lived a humble life. I don’t care. So long as I’m happy and writing.
Right now, I’m working a summer job. Not anything I want to do in particular, but it pays my rent for next year, and what I need to survive. I get up at 7am. Write, study, and network. When I’m at work, I make notes on what I’m writing in my notebook. When I come home I type up the notes, I study more, I network more and I write more.
I get past my doubt by working constantly. All the time. I know if I keep working every day, all the time. I’ll get better, and maybe one day have that ‘edge’ to cut myself a piece of that industry pie.
I use my doubt to keep me going. So that I can prove myself wrong, and maybe one day think, “Hey look, you did it! What was all the fuss about?”.
So, for now, I’ll let my doubt linger. But only for so much; I’ll keep it tempered and trimmed, and not let it grow into something that destroys me. I’ll keep it there as a reminder that this is a difficult career to choose, and to keep me moving forward.
And it’s not just writing that is difficult to get into. There are thousands of careers that are challenging to break into! And I think my work ethic can be applied to any. Do what you love. Forget the money. And in the eternal words of Shia Labeouf: