I’m having a minor crisis of faith, in myself, and my ability to write and see this through. I’m still going strong on the writing front (1,750 words today, just over 1,000 yesterday) and enjoying nearly every minute of putting words on the page, but I have doubts.
Every so often, these little black beasties of doubt in myself and my writing (and consequently everything I do, at work, with my family, and with my friends) sneak up on me. It effects my writing by making me question literally everything I write, whether my word choice is good enough, whether my plot is full of holes, and whether or not I should just scrap my drafts and go back to playing video games and reading twice as much as I do now.
I’ve learned that these heebie jeebies are normal for me, and they usually pass after a day or two. I’m not sure what triggers them, but for a couple days I have to work to not second and third guess every word I put to paper. Outside of writing it only effects me when I have to make a decision on something or present something to someone else.
These little bouts are completely contrary to my regular self, just ask my wife or anyone who knows me, confidence is most definitely NOT something I lack. I don’t feel morose, or sad, or any of that stuff, my mood is the same as always, relatively happy (compared to the general populace), sarcastic, with frequent bouts of juvenile humour.
I’ve found I can still get a lot done in these little bouts of self doubt in my writing and still enjoy the process a great deal by simply avoiding reading anything that I’ve written or thinking about anything too far outside the scene I’m working on.
Even that sentence that I just finished, it can wait until tomorrow, or the next day to get cleaned up. This would be a bad time to edit, and if I find myself doing it during these periods I’ll get up and walk away, leaving the document open until I can come back and dig into writing again.
I think every writer must go through these phases until they get read and validated by others, and likely for some time after that (fear of a sophomore slump is second only to fear of never getting read for me).
Well, I suppose some writers could potentially have enough Ego to prop up the insecurities of their Id enough to never have this problem, but I’d put money on them being the exception to the rule.
Anyway, I’m still writing, and still enjoying writing, and still dying to get my story out there and read, I just have to push my way through the next day or two. Wish me luck. And if you see me editing or slashing and burning large swathes of my latest revision, drub me about the ears with something of a medium density.
And have no fear, I still have every intention of continuing to write, whether I get read or not. It’s just part of who I am, and as my wife and daughters will tell you, I’m much less of a grumpy-pants when I’m writing.