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Laughing Through the Doubts: Why Being an Author is Worth the Uncertainty

Updated: May 20

Laughing Through the Doubts

Introduction


I remember the first time I called myself an author. I was at a family gathering, and my aunt asked me what I was up to these days. Without thinking, I blurted out, "I'm an author!" The room fell silent, and all eyes were on me. My heart raced, and I immediately felt the need to follow it up with, "Well, sort of." Everyone laughed, including me, but deep down, I was battling a storm of self-doubt.


The journey of being an author is filled with these moments of uncertainty, but it's also filled with joy, growth, and the occasional bout of laughter. In this post, I'll share why embracing this journey, with all its ups and downs, is absolutely worth it. Let's dive into the nature of doubts, the power of humor, and why being an author is one of the most rewarding experiences you can embark on.



The Nature of Doubts and Uncertainty


Every author, from the bestselling novelist to the budding writer, faces doubts. Imposter syndrome is a common companion, whispering that you're not good enough, that your work doesn't measure up, or that you're simply a fraud. Fear of failure lurks around every corner, making you second-guess every word, every sentence. And then there's perfectionism, the relentless pursuit of an unattainable ideal, which can paralyze you before you even start.


When I started writing, these doubts were overwhelming. I constantly questioned whether I had any right to call myself an author. Was my writing good enough? Would anyone want to read it? These questions haunted me, making it hard to focus on the joy of creating. But here's the thing: uncertainty is a natural part of the creative process. It means you're pushing boundaries, exploring new ideas, and challenging yourself. Without uncertainty, there would be no growth.



Finding Humor in the Journey


One of the best ways to navigate these doubts is to find humor in the journey. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress and self-doubt. It lightens the mood, makes challenges seem less daunting, and helps you maintain perspective.


I remember one particular editing session that left me in stitches. I was reading through a draft and found that I'd accidentally written "public" instead of "publish." The sentence read, "I can't wait to public my new book!" The mental image of me proudly standing in a town square, holding my manuscript aloft, declaring, "I now public this book!" was too much. I laughed until tears streamed down my face.


These moments of levity are crucial. They remind you not to take yourself too seriously and to enjoy the process, warts and all. Keeping a "blooper" journal of funny mistakes can be a great way to capture these moments. Share them with fellow writers, and you'll find that everyone has their own collection of hilarious mishaps.


Humor also helps in connecting with your readers. When you can laugh at yourself, it shows authenticity and relatability. Readers appreciate authors who are real, who acknowledge their flaws and laugh at their mistakes. It creates a bond, making your writing more engaging and your journey more relatable.



Why the Journey is Worth It


Despite the doubts and the uncertainties, being an author is incredibly rewarding. There's nothing quite like the fulfillment of seeing your work come to life. Holding your published book for the first time is a moment of pure joy and pride. It's the culmination of countless hours of hard work, creativity, and perseverance.


Beyond personal fulfillment, your writing can have a profound impact on readers. Your words can inspire, entertain, and educate. I've received messages from readers telling me how my writing helped them through tough times, made them laugh, or gave them a new perspective. These connections are priceless and remind you why you started writing in the first place.


The journey also fosters personal growth. Writing challenges you to improve your skills, to delve deeper into your thoughts and emotions, and to express yourself more clearly. Each project is a learning experience, pushing you to become a better writer and a more reflective person. The doubts and uncertainties become milestones of progress, each one marking a step forward in your development as an author.



Embracing Uncertainty with Confidence


So how do you embrace uncertainty with confidence? Start by practicing mindfulness. Stay present in the moment and focus on the task at hand. Writing is a step-by-step process, and worrying about the end result can be paralyzing. Break it down into manageable pieces, and celebrate each small victory along the way.


Setting realistic goals is also crucial. Instead of aiming for perfection, aim for progress. Set achievable targets, like writing a certain number of words each day or finishing a chapter by the end of the week. These small wins add up and build momentum, giving you the confidence to keep going.


Building a support system is invaluable. Join writing groups or communities where you can share your experiences, seek feedback, and find encouragement. Having a network of fellow writers who understand your struggles can make all the difference. They can offer fresh perspectives, cheer you on during tough times, and celebrate your successes with you.


Don't forget to acknowledge and celebrate your progress. Take time to reflect on how far you've come, the challenges you've overcome, and the milestones you've reached. Create rituals or rewards for your achievements, no matter how small. This helps reinforce a positive mindset and keeps you motivated.



Real-Life Examples and Success Stories


Many successful authors have faced doubts and uncertainties on their journeys. Take Stephen King, for example. Before he became one of the most prolific and successful authors of all time, King faced numerous rejections. His first novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times before it was finally published.


King's journey wasn't easy. He struggled with self-doubt and even threw the manuscript of Carrie in the trash at one point. It was his wife, Tabitha, who retrieved it and encouraged him to keep going. Her belief in his talent gave him the confidence to persist despite the setbacks.


King's perseverance paid off. Carrie was eventually published, and it launched his career. Today, King has written over 60 novels, many of which have been adapted into successful films and TV series. His story is a testament to the power of resilience and the importance of not giving up, even when doubts and uncertainties seem insurmountable.


Another inspiring example is Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Before her breakthrough, Gilbert worked as a waitress, bartender, and magazine writer. She faced countless rejections and struggled with the fear that her writing would never reach a wider audience.


Gilbert's breakthrough came with the publication of Eat, Pray, Love, a memoir that chronicled her journey of self-discovery across Italy, India, and Indonesia. The book became a worldwide phenomenon, translated into over 30 languages and adapted into a successful film.


Despite her success, Gilbert has been candid about her ongoing struggles with self-doubt and the pressure to live up to her previous achievements. She continues to write, embracing both the uncertainty and the joy that come with being an author. Gilbert's story highlights the importance of persistence, authenticity, and the willingness to embrace the unknown.


These stories remind us that doubts and uncertainties are part of the journey, not the end of it. They show that persistence, resilience, and a sense of humor can lead to success, even when the path is rocky.



Conclusion


Embracing the journey of being an author, with all its doubts and uncertainties, is worth it. Finding humor in the process can lighten the load, making the challenges more manageable and the victories sweeter. Remember, every author faces doubts. It's how you handle them that defines your journey.


So, laugh through the doubts, embrace the uncertainties, and continue writing with pride. Share your funny and uncertain moments with others, and you'll find that you're not alone. Keep pushing forward, and remember that every word you write brings you closer to your goals.



Final Thoughts


In the end, the uncertainty is what makes the journey unique and rewarding. It's the unexpected twists and turns that lead to growth, both as a writer and as a person. So, embrace the journey with a smile and a laugh. After all, the best stories often come from the most uncertain beginnings. Keep writing, keep laughing, and keep embracing your identity as an author.


Do you know someone who writes or journals but doesn't consider themselves a writer? Share this blog post with them and invite them to be in our next collaboration book!


 

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