Something about doubt and drawing

I've  had a bad week or so. It has been up and down. But I want to talk to you about drawing, more importantly what's going on in my head as I draw. 

Today I got back to my sketchbook work. I need to improve. The core element to help an artist to improve is drawing from observation. My mirror kept falling over, and I do have access to a willing model. The next best thing was the internet. So I have used the work of Peter Hapak and his photo of Wallace Shawn for TIME magazine ( "Pack Your (Book) Bag," July 11, 2011 issue.) 

Here's the image

Wallace Shawn by Peter Hapak for TIME  From "Pack Your (Book) Bag," July 11, 2011 issue.

You may recognise him from 'The Princess Bride' and his voice from Rex in Toy Story. I love his face here. 
My humble attempts to copy the photo are below. I'm not going to talk about the flaws in the drawings more about the thoughts that ran through my mind when I was drawing it.

This was about 2 and a 1/2 hours.

 After I put my kids to bed I logged another 1/2 hour. This is about as good as I can get it. To be honest I prefered it before I put another 1/2 hour into it.

After I put my kids to bed I logged another 1/2 hour. This is about as good as I can get it. To be honest I prefered it before I put another 1/2 hour into it.

When drawing I have the same thoughts, first it starts with ' I wonder what x will think of this drawing? Will they like it..will they...FOCUS.' I have to think about things like 'This line is roughly twice that and this angle is roughly 20 degrees..' and other such technical thoughts. Then comes the wave of :
' I'll never be as good as those hyperrealistic artists, why am I bothering.'
' This isn't even your style Cathal you're more semi abstract, so why are you bothering.'
 'It's as good as you can get it. Stop.'
'You can't draw like this, stop.'
' Shut up brain. Working here.'
5 minutes later the doubt cycle kicks in again. I keep resisting the doubt and fail voice because I care and I want to get better at this. 
I know that voice is the voice of fear. Fear I'll fail. Fear I'll get laughed at. Fear of pushing myself. 

Well I'm pushing myself because I care, I'm aiming to improve I'll only fail if stop trying to improve. As long as I try I'll improve slowly or quickly, but I'll improve. Laughed at well I've been laughed at lots.(usually because I look ridiculous.) And as Adam Ant sung,  
'Prince Charming
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of,'

I'm no Prince and my charms are questionable, but I agree '
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of,'

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