I am a bit hesitant because I don’t know the extent of your illnesses or how they manifest in your day-to-day life and I am absolutely not qualified to express any opinions on them. So any advice I have may not be useful to you due to my own lack of knowledge on the conditions you have to deal with.
As long as we know that, I will say that I barely know any writers of any merit at all who don’t self-sabotage. Almost every good or great writer I know has expressed to me feelings of being a fraud, or of having ‘lost’ whatever magic made them popular. If I could tell you the names of some of these people who have the exact same feelings you are mentioning, you would not believe it. And I include myself in that group, absolutely.
The ones who DON’T have those feelings are mostly people who have made a decision to believe their own press. They are not people who should be emulated, anyway.
This topic comes up almost every time writers get together and talk honestly. We all deal with it. You are not alone, you are actually in pretty damn fine company.
My other advice is the same advice I give for almost any question about writing. FINISH THINGS. Do small projects. SMALL projects is the key. Do something you can finish in an hour, then do something bigger, then bigger. Each finished project makes you grow an inch until you reach the sky.
Finish things. It does not matter how small the project. Finish it.
That is what makes you a writer, I promise.
I am disabled (Lupus, legally blind, Ehlers-Danlos) and I get this all the time. Every time I finish a cover, I feel like it’s terrible. When folks say they like them, I feel like they’re just saying nice things because they just want to make gimpy me feel better. I feel like a complete fraud.
The one thing I try to keep in mind is that human beings aren’t that different from each other in many ways. Something that I like to draw or write, someone else will like it, too. There’s always someone in the world who’ll like what you create. There’s always someone who’ll click with whatever story you have to say. It could be one someones, or ten thousand someones.
So even if you say, ‘I spent all this work on it and it’s crap!’ Well, someone else will like it. A lot of crap sells just fine.
But aside from that, I personally don’t think that ‘it’s crap!’ is a constructive form of criticism. Ask yourself this: what about it is crap? ‘Everything!’ is not an answer; what you’re really saying at that point is, ‘I’m crap!’ And if you just do that, you will never get anywhere. If it’s your grammar, well, there are books on that. If it’s plots, there are workshops on that. Look at the kinds of stories that you love, what about them makes them that way? Don’t lift directly from them, but do take from them the things they have in common and learn how to do them.
Art, writing, and so on, are trades. They are trained skills. You need to hone them. You can’t just pick something up after either never doing it, or not doing it for a long time, and expect to be amazing. That isn’t how it works for almost anyone in the business.
Even Stephen King had a long period of writer’s block, after he was in a serious accident. He thought he’d never write again.
So if you have a story to tell, like Gail said, write it out and finish it. Short story? Finish it. Novel? Finish. Even if that project is not great, some of it will be and you can go back and work on the parts that aren’t. Every writer goes through this: it’s called a first draft.
Really great writing/creating advice. I intend to learn from it. But first thing’s first: FINISH SOMETHING.