I like flowers with a strong bouquet, or smell. Lilacs, lily of the valley, hyacinths and peonies, to name a few. Peonies are a common flower in South-Central Pennsylvania where I grew up. What I remember most, next to their delicious smell, were the ants. The buds seemed to attract large ants who slowly crawled over them as if it were their job to open every bud on the bush.
What was the ants' purpose? They were only present during the time the blossoms opened. 99% of the time, the flower held no attraction for the insects. So why did they come?
The Heartland Peony Society says this is a natural and temporary activity. It is believed that peonies produce small amounts of nectar and other ant attractants to encourage ants to help in opening the dense double flower buds found in many peonies. Once the buds have opened, the ants disappear.
If only our self-doubts were the same way. They come to us like those pesky ants on the peonies and crawl over our dreams and ambitions. What if I can't finish this book? What if I can't get a contract? What if I can't sell any books? What if the book I just published is the only one I'll ever be able to write? Oh, yes, the creepy-crawly sensations of self-doubt.
I think all artistic people struggle with inner fears and nagging self-doubts. They are the ants of our creative flowers. Only by facing them can we overcome. Keep working. Keep writing. Keep moving your artistic career forward. Work through those self-doubts. Send those ants on their way.