#5 Don’t Get Mired in the Salamander Poop of Doubt

Dear Wizard,

When I started writing, I felt like I had a voice. I felt like I had something to say to the world. Like I had some sort of contribution to make…Books really helped me out through a tough childhood and adolescence. They saved me in a time when there were people hurting me. They were my friends when I had no friends. They comforted me when I couldn’t let the tears fall because I was too afraid to show who I am to the world.

My entire life I have lived and breathed stories. I’ve never wanted to be anything else other than a storyteller. A writer. I have always wanted to pay that comfort forward to the next reader. Give them a haven in a difficult time.

But lately, my confidence has been shaken. I feel like no one needs my stories. My voice. I feel like I have nothing much to say. And even if I do have things to say: I feel like no one cares.

I feel heavy and it comes into my office with me. I think I have lost faith in myself. I think I have lost faith in my ability to tell compelling stories.

I’ve always struggled with faith, to be honest, so I don’t know what to do. I could really use your help.

Sincerely,

In the Depths of Despair (ey/ em)

Dear Depths,

The Universe is a cold bedfellow. When we set out to uncover the secrets of the universe and to peel back the layers of mysteries the Universe does not care for us. It does not care for our sorrows or our joys. Every spell is a missive to the Universe, trying to understand its vastness more fully.

Our missives get lost. Misdirected. Buried in the depths of the night sky— where do you think the stars came from? Each one is a missive twinkling in the sky. A bottle waiting to find the person it was written to. There are a hundred billion stars in the Universe. Sometimes it takes a while for the answer to come back to us.

Sometimes we write the missive and we never get an answer back from the Universe.
There is peace in knowing that we as wizards can only do our work.
We set our work out into the great sea of stars, but not every spell works. Not every incantation gets the job done. Sometimes you summon a Chihuahua when you meant to summon an Eldritch horror. (Not that I’ve made that particular mistake).

However, for every moment of despair there is the opportunity for its opposite — joy.
For every moment of faith: there is the opportunity for doubt.

Perhaps you need to forgive yourself for having doubts in your studies. Summoning a small fairly common dog breed is not much of an accomplishment, but at least you tried. You did something. Now you’re doubting yourself because you didn’t do exactly what you set out to do. I’ve been there too.

The next piece of advice sucks fairy farts, but it is essential. After you’ve given yourself some time to wallow. Take a good ten or fifteen minutes. Then you need to pick yourself up off the proverbial floor and summon the faith to try again. Or to do something else. Otherwise you risk falling into a rut.

You risk sinking into the doubt and becoming mired in it like salamander poop. No one likes cemented salamander poop on their boots.
In case you need the extra push, I believe in you.

Now go cast spells, the Universe needs your missives. I’ll be doing the same. Wish me luck in my next attempt at summoning.

Sincerely,

A Wizard