Sunday Check-In: Creativity, self-doubt, and self-expression

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Each week, I check in with myself and review what I'm working on, what's exciting me, what I'm struggling with, and what I'm looking forward to in the next week.

I share my Sunday check-ins with the hope that you might do the same.  If you do, please let me know!  Leave a comment here, or if you'd rather, you can always email me at 

This Week's Projects


I'm less than two months away from my two-week vacation in Scotland, and I'm putting everything together in my Vacation Dream Book.  My friend and I have found so many things we want to do, and I can't wait to finally get there.  This is when I tend to start getting really stressed about it all, wondering if I'll miss out on something, wondering how we'll possibly fit in everything we want to do.  Working on my Vacation Dream Book makes me feel more confident, because on our last trip it helped make everything a lot easier.  I know that having the VDB will ensure that we'll have a fantastic trip.

What's working: Using creativity to make the planning process a lot less stressful.  I find the process of cutting out images and information and pasting it onto pages of my book somehow very soothing.  I feel that I'm putting everything in place that I need to be able to relax and enjoy the experience instead of worrying about how to get everywhere we plan to go.

My First Novel

I only wrote a tiny bit this week, but I made some interesting insights into how I like to write, and into a particular character.  So far I've had the best luck writing in first person to really get into the characters' heads to understand them.  I resisted this work because I prefer to read fiction in third person, and plan to write this novel in third person.  But whatever the final product is, this is important work to get through and learn from.

What I'm struggling with: Self doubt!   Whenever we're doing something new, we'll naturally have doubts about our abilities.  We haven't yet proven to ourselves that it's something we can learn to do well.  For creatives, there is always frustration that comes from not being able to make what we imagine into a real thing in the physical world.  But self doubt can also be a good thing. It brings us some humility, and makes us work harder to improve ourselves.   Embrace it, just don't let it stop you from your work.


One of my goals this year is to read more fiction.  I can't remember a time when I didn't love books.  But as other forms of entertainment have become so immediately accessible, I've sometimes spent less time with books than I would like.   But reading truly entertaining and well-written novels is a precious and inspirational experience that I need to make time for. 

I'm coming to the end of a novel I'm reading now for pure entertainment.  It's very similar to the author's other books in that it is a very slow build up to a lot of excitement and emotional payoff.  I'm already thinking about how I'm going to miss it when I'm done.

What I've learned: I've read all of this particular author's works, except for a couple short pieces.  I've learned a lot by following her writing and seeing how it has evolved. It encourages me to know that writing can change and improve over time.  It's also encouraging to read from a writer in a very particular niche, because my fiction is also very niche.  Ultimately, it's most important for those of us who are creative to be true to our own voice, whether it reaches one person or millions.