“Do you mind reading this blog post? It’s probably not good anyways.” Those are the words I uttered to my husband after I wrote a draft of this blog post, which is ironic since this post is all about self-doubt…
Some days I open the manuscript or essay I wrote and think it’s the best thing ever. “Wow, this is amazing! My book HAS to get published.” Then other days, especially after I read a really good book, every single sentence I re-read I wrote is terrible. “How could I ever think that I would be published; why am I making my friends and family read that trash I wrote?”
Self-doubt can be crippling and always hinders my writing process, no matter what stage in which I find myself. It’s so hard to overcome. As with anything, you have to believe in what you are doing in order to move forward. And if you don’t, it’s hard to continue onward.
I find myself at that stage right now. Book #2 is finished, rejections from agents seem to be flying in by the minute, and it’s hard to stay positive. I am currently re-editing my book for the “umpteenth” time and there isn’t too much else I can do. I really can say I gave it my all, and if my all isn’t enough, then it’s time to seek help.
I’m the first to say I’m a self-taught writer, so in some sense I have no clue what I’m doing. I model my creative writing voice after books I’ve read while still trying to write from my heart. But maybe that’s not enough and I need to get some formal training. I’ve actually never taken a legitimate creative writing class. I tried to sign up for a community one this winter, but it was canceled due to lack of enrollment. So I think it’s time to take the next step and really finesse my creative writing; make the sentences more descriptive, yet crisp, and continue to learn how to “show, not tell.” So I signed up for a Coursera class to see if that can help! It also can’t hurt to learn more about writing in general; it certainly will help in my career as a grant-writer.
In the meantime, while I’m trying to learn how to improve my writing, I am considering hiring an editor to help me fix the bugs in my books and really give me guidance on how to make it better. And if that doesn’t work, then I start from scratch, and try again. I’m not going to give up. Even if book #2 isn’t the next best seller in its current state, maybe it could be whether it’s hiring an editor or buckling down and learning how to really make it better. And if not, well there’s always book #3!