In the solitude of creative work, it can be hard to gain perspective. I spend a lot of time in my head grappling with self doubt.

Recently, I received an unexpected email from a customer who had taken the time to not only read my rather long and detailed personal bio in my Etsy store but also to email me and let me know how much they enjoyed it. I had recently rewritten this bio on a whim, deciding that if someone was delving this deep into the backstory of my art, they deserved a deeper dive. She explained that my story resonated with her and she could see a part of herself that she too wanted to express. Her words were the right ones at the right time, and I felt a deep sense of appreciation and validation. The motivation her words gave me lasted for weeks, and I still think about it.

A timely word is truly delightful, as noted in Proverbs 15:23. The right words at the right time are not just pleasant, but powerful.

In this vein, I want to extend encouragement and kind, timely words to you, my dear fellow creatives, wrestling with self-doubt. I want to offer a different perspective that might just change the way you see this familiar shadow.

Rather than viewing self-doubt as a stumbling block, consider it a signal—an encouragement, even—that you're exactly where you need to be on your creative journey. This isn’t a sign to stop; it's a prompt to dive deeper, for it is in these depths that true creativity is often found.

Virginia Woolf, a luminary in literature, famously noted that we stand "raw with our own self-doubt" at the brink of significant personal discoveries and artistic leaps. She didn’t see these moments of uncertainty as setbacks but as necessary precursors to deep exploration and meaningful output.


Self-doubt often creeps in when I lack clear direction, leading me to question my actions and become susceptible to external influences. In such moments, it’s all too easy to let prevailing styles and trends sway my art, pushing me to conform and create what's already popular to soothe my doubts. Of course, there is a place for trends and styles in business, yet I firmly believe that art born from my innermost feelings has a more profound impact. In my experience, it also sells better, has longevity of sales, and continually pulls in the kind of people that are on the same page for collaborations and project opportunities, sharing a similar life ethos.

I know which drawings came from an original place in my heart. My customers do too. This constantly amazes me. 

Understanding self-doubt as an integral and growth-inducing aspect of the creative process is vital. Each artist’s unique voice and perspective are invaluable, capable of influencing and inspiring in unforeseen ways.

When doubt surfaces, recognise it as a cue for potential breakthroughs. Continue to engage deeply with your work, trust in its value, and push forward into the depths of your creativity.

Self-doubt is normal. Self-doubt is an indication that you need to search within and not search for someone else to tell you what to do.

The world eagerly anticipates the unique contributions that only you can make.

xx Bella

May 05, 2024

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