Self-Doubt

4 Apr

I’ve been attacked by self doubt, lately. Literally attacked. Self-Doubt basically picked up an axe, and chased me down a haunted corridor in a house made out of devils. And then when it caught me, it proceeded to chop off my body parts one tiny skin flake at a time.

Can you imagine dying one skin flake at a time? That dude from Saw never thought of a fate that scary. No – he’s just there with his machines that make you eat yourself or whatever, because he’s not half as hardcore as Self-Doubt.

However, before anyone starts screaming and crying and begging to know how we’re ever going to escape from the house made of devils and the man with the skin-flake axe, I’m here with my handy five point plan for combatting Self-Doubt.

Here’s what I do, when it all gets too much:

1. Eat ten sandwiches. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Charlotte, isn’t one sandwich enough? Won’t the self-doubt disappear if I just eat a slim little egg salad? Well, the short answer is no. Only ten sandwiches will do. And each sandwich must be filled with, like, lard and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.

2. Watch hours of Frasier. Of course, it’s not necessary that the program be Frasier. You could subtitute your own TV show – Two and a Half Men, for example. Though be warned – watching Two and a Half Men may angry the blood and cause Self-Doubt to foam at the mouth, which is never good when he’s busy chasing you with an axe. I mean, that’s just making things more terrifying, isn’t it? Now he’s a maniac with a skin-flake axed chasing you around a house made of devils with foam around his mouth. Choose a less foam-inducing program, like The Simpsons. Even the bad episodes of that show are better than the good episodes of Two and a Half Men, because Two and a Half Men has woman beater Charlie Sheen being smug about getting one up over yet more women.

3. Write something stupid. Not everything has to be a shattering masterpiece of heartbreaking genius! Which is a lesson I learnt the hard way, after spending hours agonising over the word “just” and yet more hours agonising over whether or not my heroine should angst some more and even further hours agonising over whether the sparkling world of top publishing would accept my story about sad, angsty things happening against a backdrop of sex. My brain turned purple and the sandwiches couldn’t comfort me and Frasier wasn’t there for me cos really he’s a gimp played by that ass Kelsey Grammer, and then it all went away when I realised I could spend time just writing any old silly nonsense about big alien beefcakes from the planet Blarg who kidnap my tiny heroine and do things to her.

A bonus of this technique is that afterwards, you realise the big alien beefcake story is actually better than any other bollocks literary thing you’ve ever attempted.

4. Have a shower. No, no wait, bear with me. Showers are great, okay! Once inside this watery womb, your brain starts fantasising and freewheeling and imagining all sorts of things, and the next thing you know you’re hanging half out of it, writing down plot points with an eyeliner pencil on a piece of toilet paper.

And the lesson is: take a fookin’ pad and pen into the bathroom, Charlotte, you stupid maniac.

5. Start crushing on Armie Hammer. I swear, he’s like manna from the Gods. There’s no end to hot characters he can play in stories I want to write, right now. He’s big and hunky and secretly I’m sure he actually is an alien beefcake from the planet Blarg. Oh yeah, there’s nothing quite like suddenly crushing on some new dude for combatting Self-Doubt.

Because once you’ve got the beefcake you suddenly realise Self-Doubt is actually only three feet tall, and that axe he was carrying? Made out of Play-Doh, all along.

7 Responses to “Self-Doubt”

  1. Marilyn Campbell April 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    I’ll have a helping of that alien beefcake today please! (Love your sense of humor Charlotte)

  2. Jocelyn Modo April 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post! I needed it this week more than I can say!!!

  3. themightycharlottestein April 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Marilyn- who doesn’t like a fresh, delicious slice of steaming beefcake? Beefcake makes everything all right! (and thank you! I know it’s weird, but hey it’s mine)

    Jocelyn- no probs, man. We all self-doubt, and we all need to know that other people are out there too, trying to dropkick self-doubt in the pants!

  4. Sasha Devlin April 4, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    I think you’ve hit exactly where I went wrong. I had the Simpsons, but I had stopped at a mere 8 sandwiches. Must. Put. Self-Doubt. In. Food. Coma.

    This post came at the right moment. Thanks for both making me laugh and giving me perspective.

  5. themightycharlottestein April 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Eight sandwiches will never do it, Sasha! Has to be ten. Filled with Mars Bars.

    And no probs- we’re all in the same boat!

  6. Lauren Fraser April 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    10 sandwiches? Good god woman I can’t scarf that much down in one sitting. Shoot I know what the problem is, my sandwiches are too healthy. Maybe I need to switch to white bread instead of that healthy squirrelly stuff. That ought to do the trick so I can eat myself into oblivion. LOL

  7. Nara April 7, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    Ten sandwiches…off to the store to buy more bread.

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