I didn’t know what was happening the first time it hit me. I’d been revising my novel for a few weeks when one day, it just happened. I read a passage, and a thought hit me. “Why would any agent want to represent this?” It was followed shortly afterward by: “Why would anyone want to read this?”
It was my first encounter with what I’ve come to think of as the bipolar nature of being a writer. I’m not meaning to belittle the plight of anyone who has been medically diagnosed as bipolar, but I can’t help but use the disorder as an analogy to what many writer’s, including myself, experience.
One day, I can be full of confidence in my ability to write, and that my novel will be published someday. The next day can be full of bleak self-doubt. Sometimes the change was triggered by process of editing my book, sometimes by reading books about writing and finding new problems I needed to fix, and sometimes by reading books written by other writers and feeling inadequate in comparison.
The first step in overcoming these feelings self-doubt and inadequacy is to become aware of them and how they arise. Having done that, I began looking for articles in my twitter feed and among the blogs that I follow that provide advice on how to counteract and overcome these feelings. There are three articles I’d like to share with anyone else facing this struggle.
This first article I’d like to share is titled “When Doubt Niggles” – it comes from the blog of Books and Such Literary Management and shares some basic, common sense advice.
The second article is “Perfect is the Enemy of Good”, from the blog of author Alex Bracken. The part of her post that resonated with me was how her perfectionism resulted in procrastination.
The last article is titled “There’s This Thing That Happens Sometimes…”, which comes from author Chuck Wendig’s blog. It describes the feelings that can result from comparing someone else’s work to your own, and the feelings of inadequacy that can result.
These articles spoke to my experiences from different perspectives, but I found each one helpful. I hope you do too.
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sneuweger/10418151535/”>Stefan Neuweger</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>