The antidote to doubt is to write something.
Every book is a new beginning, a new chance to get it right. I can usually carry this enthusiasm all the way to the end of the book. The creative process itself is so exhilarating that I can overcome the hurdles and problems and finish.
It is only when I'm not writing, or even worse, when I'm rewriting, that doubt sets in.
Being critical and having doubt are pretty much the same thing. By the time I finish rewriting a book, I am filled with doubt. I don't overdo it these days. I've developed processes that keep that in check. In the old days, I'd rewrite so much that I'd end up hating the book. Nowadays I usually manage to keep my affection for the story.
Not writing also causes doubt. The creative glow fades, the memory of the story starts to recede into the past, and day to day concerns come to the forefront. Often I'm dealing with the details of getting what I've written into the world. Not the same thing as creativity.
So I'm always excited to start a new book, and I try to nurture that excitement all the way through.
Doubt is in the future, put into abeyance, something that is a nuisance. Doubt might be useful in making me put my best effort in, but doubt is deadly when I'm in the process of creating.
I'm ready to plunge into my newest story. I've written about 12K words so far. I had to step away to do the rewrite of The Darkness You Fear, but I really want to get back to it.
I need to renew my faith in my abilities and my hopes.
5 days ago