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There’s some dark stuff floating around today, a sadness in places unexpected. Peppering the heaviness are bright sparks — a cheer, an inspiration, a comforting word. Some days, the world feels so big.

This morning I read an article about an entrepreneur who failed and hung himself. Months ago, he was optimistic and on top of his game. His idea wasn’t bad, though perhaps his implementation was lacking.

A little later, I read a blog post by a friend who is just jumping into cyberspace. Her article made me wince.  I remember when I was that overwhelmed. Some days I still am, especially when I read something that makes me feel inadequate.

One of the posts I read this morning by blogger/writer Kristen Lamb talked about 5 things that can kill your novel. Absorbing her advice, I panicked. My new novel is with a top notch editor, but after reading Kristen’s post, I wanted to snatch it back.  “Wait, I have to fix something….” my soul cried. After a few minutes, reason returned and I laughed at myself. I hired an editor because I took the book as far as I could alone. If the chapter worrying me needs work, she will let me know.  Breathe.  Breathe again.

We are so overloaded with advice, recommendations, and other’s success that we can become more insecure than is healthy — for us or our world. Don’t get me wrong, the information made available for free by people genuinely trying to help has been invaluable.

These last several months have been an intense immersion into writing craft, social media, and self-examination. I have learned so much about so many things, not least of which is myself. For this, I am forever grateful. Nevertheless, it is a fine line between absorbing knowledge and eroding the confidence essential to success.

Simultaneously, we must recognize that 90% of us will fail at least once. If we don’t reach out a hand to support those struggling with self-doubt, failure, and frustration, not only are we selfish humans beings, our lack of support might  prohibit the next great work from ever seeing the light of day because someone quit too soon.

I’m making a commitment to reach out more often. I hope you’ll join me.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments. Let me know if you’ve struggled with self-doubt and overload. What did you do about it? What advice can you share? Looking forward to hearing from you.