timid soul sparks light a feeble space to wonder sharpen iron words
And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
We all need advice if we are honest with ourselves. Criticism is another beast.
I doubt my poetry. Like children needing maturity in order to survive the school teacher’s eye, they languish.
As Tennyson said, doubt is not always bleak. It can prove to shape us in countless ways we otherwise may never have considered.
Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt.
Sylvia Plath was very self-critical. In her letters, she edited and revised her poems, with a stern approach. She doubted. Her stated purpose in writing was to “evoke certain attitudes, feelings and thoughts for the reader” and in doing she recognized her trouble with “too much subconscious clinging to cliches and downtrodden combinations. Not enough originality. Too much blind worship of modern poets and not enough analysis and practice.”
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. –Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
What seems to be a paradox, is actually a double-edged sword. For those who can be creative while criticizing yourself, you have a leg up on you. She confessed to never being doubtful but her own words contradict so.