I’m in a strange place right now with my writing.
Strange because I have 2 bestselling books that do amazingly well when it comes to sales and rankings, I have another that is just about to be released and I just signed a contract for another book. So really, I should be in a good place, a happy place, a place full of self confidence and knowledge, right?
I just completed my novel and handed it into my agent for her to read and am really worried that she’ll hate it. Did I write a crappy story? No. I know (in my head) that I didn’t. But in my heart…there’s some doubt. Did I go deep enough? Was I true enough to my characters? Will my readers travel with me on this new journey?
Now, before anyone says anything…I think a little self doubt is healthy for authors to experience and I realize that this is my ‘thing’ … it’s a process I go through after each book. It keeps me grounded and also pushes me to go deeper – which is good – for me. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way – a lot of authors – whether just starting out or with multiple books published – go through this, so it’s nice to know that it’s normal.
It also means I’m not alone. We often hear that this writing journey we’re on is a solitary journey, but really it’s not. Since I’ve started writing, I have met amazing authors that have all touched my life in one way or another. Some I’m still really good friends with and others – while we don’t talk anymore due to a plethora of excuses – still influence me in one way or another.
I’ve learned that when I go through these periods – that it’s important for me to step away – just for a little bit – from that story or even from writing (if only for a day or two). I’ll immerse myself in books that I’ve been longing to read or catch up on shows that I’ve had recorded (or discover amazing shows like House of Cards which is awesome btw).
I’ve also learned that it’s a good time to surround myself with other authors who know and understand and can help me get through this – whether to commiserate or to kick my butt or just to amaze me with ideas that I haven’t thought about yet.
On that note…IndieReCon is starting today. Have you heard of it? You should check it out. There are some amazing speakers in the Indie world sharing their knowledge and a great resource if you’ve ever thought about stepping into the indie world. www.indierecon.org
I’m getting ready for a book release and in the same place, as usual. LOL!
Steena, I think this is a very normal (and very healthy) process. Fear pushes us to keep doing our best. But damn, it’s hard.
Can’t wait to go swing by Indie Recon — thanks for reminding me!
I agree. I think doubt, fear – whatever you want to call it, whatever you feel – is something to be embraced as part of the creative process. It’s the flip side of many a writing day’s coin. Although the idea of mindfulness has been over-hyped as of late, the process is old as the hills. And, it’s a helpful way to approach doubt because you see it for what it mostly is – a subjective analysis of the situation at hand. Internal mechanisms are helpful, but you’re right – nothing trumps a solid community. I’m just starting out, and don’t have much of a community of writer friends to whom I can turn. I think that’s the most difficult part – keeping so much about this life bottled up rather than attempt to explain it to others who are not immersed in the craft. An important objective this year is to become more involved in the community – or at least, to figure out where to start. Thank you for the post!