Skip to main content

How Valuable Is Second Guessing?

Image placeholder title

I've been holding onto the following quote for a long time, wondering at how true it is, or isn't.

when you feel insecure about something you are doing … that vulnerability means that you are doing the right thing and when you watch that … the part when you started second-guessing … that is likely the best part … same goes for writing and photos of yourself.

It's from Raymi, and you can read the full interview with her here.

Here's my difficulty: I've always admired the people who know exactly what it is they're about, or what they want to do. And whatever IT is, IT powers (or overpowers) everything else, any other disappointments or losses. IT offers meaning, and there's no second-guessing as to the meaning of IT.

Raymi refers to second-guessing as something related to vulnerability—and true, it's necessary to face vulnerabilities or fears in connection to creative work. (Think of The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.)

But does second-guessing always mean vulnerability, though? Sometimes second-guessing is about challenging yourself—to have humility and to realize you need to improve and grow.

How can we distinguish between second-guessing that is valuable, and second-guessing that is wheel spinning?

What's your take on this?

Lucy Clarke: On the Power of Creativity

Lucy Clarke: On the Power of Creativity

Novelist Lucy Clarke discusses how a marathon of writing led to a first draft in just 17 days for her new psychological thriller, One of the Girls.

A Conversation With Jaden Terrell on Writer Expectations, Part 1 (Killer Writers)

A Conversation With Jaden Terrell on Writer Expectations, Part 1 (Killer Writers)

Killer Nashville founder Clay Stafford continues his series of interviews with mystery, thriller, and suspense authors. Here he has a conversation with novelist Jaden Terrell about writer expectations and success.

Connecting the Dots vs. Drawing the Whole Damn Picture: A Veteran Ghostwriter Takes Back His Pen and Finds Something To Say

Connecting the Dots vs. Drawing the Whole Damn Picture: A Veteran Ghostwriter Takes Back His Pen and Finds Something To Say

Writing for oneself after a decades-long career as a ghostwriter is a challenge unto itself. Here, author Daniel Paisner discusses his career as a ghostwriter, how the process differs from writing his own work, and if the two ever intersect.

Who Are Sensitivity Editors? And How Much Does Sensitivity Reading Pay?

Who Are Sensitivity Editors? And How Much Does Sensitivity Reading Pay?

Sensitivity readers offer a very specific and focused edit to manuscripts. Here, C. Hope Clark shares what a sensitivity editor is, how much it pays, and where you can start.

Kate White: On Building In Brainstorming Time

Kate White: On Building In Brainstorming Time

New York Times bestselling author Kate White discusses the process of writing her new psychological thriller, The Second Husband.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 615

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a desire poem.

Writer's Digest Best Writing Advice Websites for Writers 2022

Writer's Digest Best Writing Advice Websites for Writers 2022

Here are the top writing advice websites as identified in the 24th Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

Love the Art. Work the Business. | Nikesha Elise Williams

Nikesha Elise Williams: On the Power of Self-Publishing

In this indie author profile, novelist Nikesha Elise Williams shares her path to self publishing and the creative marketing strategy that's led to her success.

Change of Plans

Change of Plans

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, there's been a sudden and unforeseen change of plans.