Some days I don't. Um, particularly in 2007 when it was rejection after rejection. Followed by more rejection. And then rejection that came completely out of the blue from another writer. Oh, and then some more rejection on top of that.
I've said this elsewhere, maybe on the post where I talk about how I got published, but there were days where I would just lay on my apartment floor and ask myself why I was doing this. What made me think I had anything unique to say?
And sadly, those insecurities don't vanish when you sign the book contract. Or when you see your book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. Insecurity is part of being human. But the joy of being a writer is you can put it to work for you and use it in character crafting. (Once you get over your insecurities long enough to actually put words on the page, that is.)
So while I, sadly, have no magical cure for self-doubt, I have found a few things that help me:
Because sometimes my doubts are from me over-thinking the situation. Sometimes it's as simple as telling myself, "You're going to sit yourself down in that chair, and you're not checking e-mail, stalking the Pioneer Woman, or even peeing until you write 500 words."
Writing in a Community
I didn't know how badly I needed writing friends until I actually made some. I love being able to send them stuff and say, "Does this suck as bad as I think it does?" In fact, I have a manuscript that I felt tremendously insecure about, that I cringed as I clicked the "Send" button, but my crit partner, Roseanna, says it's the best thing I've written.
And even when something does suck as bad as I think it does, my writing friends are often able to say, "Here's the problem."
Writing friends can give you much-needed perspective.
Having That Person
It might be your best friend or your dad or your aunt. It's that one person who's always willing to give you pep talks, and who knows how to make things right. I'm fortunate enough to have lots of people supporting me and my writing, but the one who gets to deal with all my junk is my husband. (Lucky him, right?) He's there to tell me how dumb a particular reviewer is, or to remind me that my agent didn't take me on out of pure pity (I still think maybe partial pity), and so on.
The self doubt will never completely go away. But I think the best advice is in the second part of the question - make yourself write. There's definite therapy in it.
Have a question? E-mail me.