Belief is a funny thing. Whether the belief is in God, Santa Claus or in a friend, the act touches something deep in your core. No matter small or great, very certain or relatively unknown, belief in anything requires a deep level of trust and a leap of faith, at least to some extent.
I've always personally been someone who likes to believe things, but the meaning of the concept really came alive to me about a year ago when I saw someone pose this question: When does someone become a writer?
At that time, though I had been working for a newspaper for years and literally had my work published, I wouldn't have called myself one. At least not willingly.
I may have said "I write" or "I'm a journalist" but I wouldn't have just gone around telling people I am a writer.
Essentially, I didn't believe.
I have no idea what my idea of a writer was, but I guess I just always thought something more than what I've accomplished, like publishing a book, maybe even a "successful" book, maybe even getting recognized for it.
Here's the thing about that kind of train of thought. Sure, I could still write even if I don't believe it, but for the chances of getting someone else to read it or even to finish a project to be present, I really need to buy into it. While a writer might not write only for others to actually read the work, the work itself just won't be the same until you proclaim it to the world—and at minimum, to yourself.
It's been a year since I decided to declare to myself, on my Website, when people ask me what I do—just everywhere— that I'm a writer. A few weeks later I started to really believe it. A few months later I was supporting myself solely on that skill. And a year later, I'm writing more than I ever have and honestly, better.
Writers (and I think all creative types really) have a tremendous amount of self-doubt to overcome in the process of creating any work. The true belief in you to come through makes it even possible to complete anything at all.
If you are a writer or creative person, what has been your biggest tool in overcoming doubt about your work?