Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Embracing New Beginnings, and Banishing the Doubt Monster

If I had a brain scan taken right now, I think it would resemble one of those houses on an episode of Hoarders: piled high with junk, all discombobulated, disorganized, and frightening. July has sped past me with all the zipping and zooming of a bullet train, and I’m not quite sure when I have to show for it.

A photo from one of my fun day trips: The Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Marin. (Photo taken by the author)

One of the causes of this mental disorganization of course stems from the craziness of moving and settling back in. I’ve adjusted to being home with family fairly easily — maybe a little too easily. There have been all sorts of lunches and dinners out, day trips to fun places, and other activities and outings going on. All this social time has been wonderful, but it’s been eating away at my quiet time. As many of you introverts will know, that quiet time is darned essential, and so I need to do a better job at setting boundaries for myself.

To make things even better, the Doubt Monster has been lurking around for the last few weeks, accompanied by his cronies Irrational Fear and Angst. This means that writing, both creative and academic, has been an agonizing process. Words are wrangled onto the page with back-breaking effort, most of them get deleted, then replaced with approximately the same level of pain. My rapidly approaching (and expiring) deadlines have done little to kick my butt into gear, which in turn brings back the Doubt Monster in all his wonderfully doubting glory, and the cycle begins again.

But it is August 1st! This means that it is time for renewed energy and new beginnings. Better yet, I have decided that it is time to banish the Doubt Monster and his posse into some galaxy far, far away so that I can clean up my mental house and get things in order.

August 1st is also the start of CampNaNoWriMo, which I (of course) decided to tackle in a moment of wild idiocy (supreme overconfidence?). I toyed with the idea of pulling out, but part of me thinks that the forced focus might actually be good for me. To make my life a little easier, I’ll be working on STRANGE BEDFELLOWS, my somewhat-erotic romance that is already 15k long. An outline sort of dropped into my lap, fully-formed and shiny, a couple of months ago, so I’ll be using that as my guide.

My itemized list of things accomplished/not accomplished will be posted on Sunday, but until then I leave you with this picture of my cat, Napoleon. I like to think of him as my mascot in all things associated with lazy, and a welcome reminder that a little rest and relaxation in the midst of all our busy time.

Napoleon, the Little Corporal of All Things Lazy


  1. Love the picture of kitty 🙂 Looks like nothing in the world could wake him from that nap hehe I think the Doubt Monster must be plaguing me while he’s not pestering you, I constantly feel almost blocked from writing by thoughts that my work isn’t good enough or that I’m never going to make it anyway etc… Good luck for Camp NaNoWriMo, hopefully having an outline ready to go will make writing easier and help you banish the Doubt Monster.

    • Seriously, I think my kitty could sleep through just about anything. It is a skill I am hoping to learn one day. 😛

      We must band together to put a stop to the Doubt Monster, methinks. Down with the writing blockage!

  2. Best of luck with Camp NaNoWriMo! I know all too well what the doubt master is like, so I hope this fresh start is the push you need!

  3. Yay for more ROWers doing Camp Nano! Let’s storm the place!

    The Doubt Monster sucks, but he’s terrified of positive thoughts. Just saying.

    • Whoo-hoo, we’re gonna take over! I have the ROW80 flag at the ready…

      And YES, I knew he had a weakness! Time to get my arsenal of positive thoughts prepared. 😀

      Have a wonderful week, Dahnya!

  4. The best of luck with Camp NaNo! I have a 30,000 word goal this month myself. We can do this!! Good job banishing the Doubt Monster. He’s a bad one. 🙂

  5. I’ve been fighting with the Doubt Monster too, so solidarity! Just remember to doubt the Doubt Monster.

    Major props for tackling Camp NaNo! I always admire people who do it. Wonder if I’m crazy enough to tackle it this year…

    • I feel like I should create some sort of “Down with the Doubt Monster” badge so we can form ourselves an “anti-Doubt Monster” mob. 😛

      I think I am definitely crazy for trying Camp NaNo this year, but then I remind myself that whatever gets written this month, even if it isn’t the full 50K, will be more than I had before August started. It’s a win-win in my book!

      Have a lovely rest of the week, Annalise!

  6. Oh the doubt, the doubt! I have had that so much recently! Is my story interesting? Is my character annoying? and so on and so on.

    But it is the first of August and this is a new fresh start! We can do this especially with us cheering each other on, gently guiding and occasionally shoving each other!

  7. Lauren Garafalo

    August 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve heard the Doubt Monster runs like a girl, is afraid of his own reflection (what would doubt look like to doubt?…my philosophical ponderings for the day), and is allergic to glitter. SO GLITTER FOR ALLLLL. *rolls in the glitter to camouflage* Plus, you have us. I’ll man the glitter bazooka this week, and you can fend him off next week when I’m a little dead 😀

  8. I just signed up for Camp Nano, like…just a few minutes ago. I’m excited and terrified but like you am not starting a brand new project *Yay for Camp Nano Rebels!!* And your cat is freaking adorable! Good luck with Camp and hopefully we’ll “see” each other on Twitter for sprints or to just chat 🙂

  9. It’s definitely a day for new beginnings. Hope that doubt monster leaves you alone, or inspires you to make it! LOL Lovely photos, Lena. I’m sending you happy, healthy go-get-’em vibes. 😉

  10. Wow, can I relate to this post! Especially the description of clutter in the mind. 🙂 Hopefully you’ll be so consumed by NaNo that the ol’ doubt monster will run away screaming (or better yet, sneak away silently)! And wow, what a wonderful muse-gift – a fully formed outline! Sign me up for that one once my short story’s finished?

    Good luck!

  11. As I read your post, I saw the Doubt Monster closing the door softly so as not to bother you. The freshness of a new month and the call of CampWriNo have come to take you to words not yet imagined. The best to you for the rest of the round.


  12. Wishing you all the best with August NaNo. I’m hoping to slay the insecurity monster from now until November to build up for NovNaNo.

    Moving is tough, so I’m glad you are starting to settle.

    And, OMG, my brain is an episode of hoarders. You nailed it. Scary!

    Hope August rocks! (and past it…)

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