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October 18, 2010 / Jenny Ann Fraser

“Doubt” By Guest Blogger Ollin Morales


by Ollin Morales

“It never occurred me to doubt myself.” – Katherine Hepburn

Katherine you big, fat liar.  The audacity really.  How could you tell artists that somehow you can be impenetrable to the artists constant unhappy friend:  doubt?  Even if you are some kinda of magical, fearless android who can take creative risk after creative risk without any slight hesitation, how dare you assume that we would find your comment inspiring.

With your words you seem to be challenging others to do the same thing you (supposedly) did.  Live happily without doubt.

Now I may be a beginning novelist, but I’m still gonna safely assume that the words of Ms. Hepburn are total BS.  I want to make sure that I don’t pass on the same BS to those who seem to believe that I or any other artist are somehow without the same insecurities of most all people.  I want to be honest about the pain and sacrifice and yes DOUBT that writers go through to publish a work.

Here are the doubts that constantly run through my head:

What if I suck?  What if I’m wasting my time?  How the hell am I going to make a living out of this? I’m too young to write a novel. No one will like what I write.  My grammar blows. No one will publish it.  Who will even read it? I should have stuck with acting, people always said I was good at that.  I should have gone in a field that was more practical like what my friends did.  They seem comfortable. I’m running out of time, I’ll miss the opportunity I was meant for!  NO ONE WILL UNDERSTAND ME….!

And so on and so on.  Sound familiar?

If you have doubts, you are not alone.  It’s part of being human.  I’m starting to believe that “fearlessness” is only a fictional trait.  You can never be without fear.  It’s like saying you can experience happylessness, or sadlessness, or any other emotion that is just wired into us as humans.  So, the key for me has not been trying to get rid of Fear or Doubt (impossible), it’s how I deal with Fear and Doubt.

Does that mean I have mastered doubt as a writer? No. But recently, what I have been finding helpful is balancing all my cold, itchy doubts with those warm, fuzzy certainties.  It’s kinda like I’m in a boxing match, and the guy hits me with doubt, and I hit him back with a certainty, and that keeps me from being knocked out.

Foooor example:

POW! Doubt: I should have picked something more practical do to.

BAM! Certainty: I love to write.  What else would I do?

POW! Doubt: No one will like what I write.

BAM! Certainty: I love what I write.  Would I prefer writing something that I hate that others would love? No.

KA-POW! Doubt: I’ll run out of time.

KA-BLAM! Certainty: It took seven years for Tony Award-Winning Playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda to write his Tony Award-Winning Musical In the Heights.  I have 7 years before I can start to worry.

It’s boxing match that I’m not sure ever ends.  But I’d imagine if I ever do get published that would be one nice KO of my doubts.

I think this approach is more practical. What do you think?  Is fear an emotion we can get rid of? Is doubt something we will eventually “defeat” or “avoid”?  How do you deal with your fears and doubts?

In the meantime:  I’m sorry Ms. Hepburn, but all artists can’t be perfect, fearless beings like you.  I’ve got my doubts. But thankfully, I also know that there ARE things that are certain in my life, and I’ll keep holding on to those to keep my fears at bay and my hopes afloat.

much love,


Ollin Morales is a writer and a blogger. {Courage 2 Create} chronicles the author’s journey writing his first novel. This blog offers writing tips as well as strategies to deal with life’s toughest challenges. After all, as Ollin’s story unfolds, it becomes more and more clear to him that in order to write a great novel, he must first learn how to live a great life.



Leave a Comment
  1. Mommylebron / Oct 18 2010 9:23 am

    Perhaps Ms. Hepburn should have said, “It never occurred to me to be brutally honest with myself.” Great piece! Good luck in your writing endeavors!

    • Ollin / Oct 18 2010 1:53 pm

      Haha! Yes, perhaps. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for the well wishes! 🙂

  2. Maimoona Rahman / Oct 18 2010 10:46 am

    Oh well, Hepburn probably confused fiction with reality when she said that.

    Interesting post, my friend.

    • Ollin / Oct 18 2010 11:20 pm

      Yes, maybe it was a quote from one of her characters in her movies? 🙂

  3. Emily Jane / Oct 18 2010 2:57 pm

    I really enjoyed this post! It is my biggest dream to write a novel (or two!), and you captured my inner monologue of doubt perfectly. I LOVED that you kapow-ed each and every one with a, just as believable, certainty. I need to start giving a little more power to the latter 🙂

    • Ollin / Oct 18 2010 11:21 pm

      Yes, Emily! Kick every doubt with a certainty! Keep yourself in that ring, and you can never lose the fight. 🙂

  4. BK / Oct 18 2010 8:52 pm

    It is not so much about doubt but more about how we are handling them. Doubt can act as an agent for us to strive to be better and yet it can be crippling to free flow of thoughts.

    • Ollin / Oct 18 2010 11:23 pm

      I think in small doses doubt is good, it keeps us working harder and improving, and checking for leaks and mistakes before we moved forward, which is always good. But as you say, Doubt in large doses can be fatal, and can halt you from moving forward in the direction of your good. Thanks for the comment! Great point! 🙂

  5. Keshav Ram Narla / Oct 19 2010 11:14 pm

    The message just breezed through ollin. You have a way of telling a story. The boxing match analogy and the conversation with yourself was brilliant.

    There are indeed no shortcuts, you got to put the “years” into this craft. But we have one huge advantage over our ancestors – our blogs.

    Our blogs keep us feeding strength through reader comments. I’m sure the yesteryear writers, both professional or amateurs would do anything for an opportunity to showcase their writing with a flick of their index finger.

    Keep rocking my man 🙂

    • Ollin / Oct 20 2010 2:35 pm

      Thank you Keshav! I am flattered by your kind words. Yes, you are right. Blogging has been quite the savior for. It keeps me writing, and it keeps me from ever falling into self-loathing.

      You, rock on as well, man! 🙂

      • Ollin / Oct 20 2010 2:36 pm

        oops i meant to say “for me.”

  6. Andrea DeBell - britetalk / Oct 19 2010 11:59 pm

    Hi Ollin!
    I actually like Ms. Hepburn’s quote but I can appreciate your fresh perspective. I also have doubts and fears lurking around but not in all areas of my life. I believe in some areas we are more doubtful than in others. I use to believe that I was right all the time and probably “it never occurred me to doubt myself.” I now believe doubt is a good thing in the right context and I often doubt my assumptions of being right about things. This doubt has helped release the need to be right and accept that it’s ok not to know.

    Thanks for a thought provoking article. Loving blessings!

    • Ollin / Oct 20 2010 2:37 pm

      Thank you Andrea.

      That is a great way to see doubt. As I said above in someone else’s comments. Doubts in low doses can be good for our growth. I am glad you have made peace with your doubts!

      Love blessings to you too! 🙂

  7. Tess The Bold Life / Oct 20 2010 8:31 am

    I’m not sure if there is no such thing as “no doubt” however she sure projects confidence in every movie or photo I’ve seen of her. The important thing is to make sure your rid yourself of your own doubts in any way you see fit so they don’t stick around for long.

    • Ollin / Oct 20 2010 2:39 pm

      Yeah, right? I think maybe what made her so great is that she pretended that she never had a doubt, so that no one could ever doubt her. Ah, well, who knows. Yes. Let’s get rid of all those doubts that don’t do us any good anymore! 🙂

  8. Belinda / Oct 20 2010 6:34 pm

    Ollin, I loved this! And I absolutely agree that I prefer to write what I love to write than some sub-par formulaic piece that made for mass consumption.

    Jenny, what a fantastic guest post!

    • Jenny Ann Fraser / Oct 20 2010 6:54 pm

      Thank you Belinda!

    • Ollin / Oct 21 2010 2:16 pm

      Yes, it is better to write what you love, and I would say, almost necessary. You can’t make it through your novel if you hate it. TRUST ME. Thanks! 🙂

  9. brittany220 / Feb 25 2011 2:14 pm

    What a cool guest post! I’ll be checking out your blog Ollin! I agree that everyone has doubts about themselves and is harder on themselves, I don’t know how anyone could say they’ve never felt uncertain.


  1. Going The Distance « {Courage 2 Create}

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