Self-doubt is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it pushes us to strive for our best rather than settle for something less. But on the negative side, it can drive us to question our talents and abilities.
I love writing fiction. I wouldn’t have two novels drafted if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be writing short stories on a blog if I didn’t. But a stretch of dark, dreary, damp days has unleashed my self-doubt, and it’s off and running like Maisy and Chess through a field (a reference to my current Meghan Bode short story if you’re wondering who I’m talking about). I’m fighting back and continuing with the revisions to Summer at the Crossroads, trying to get that WIP ready for a new round of beta readers by early February.
This was my first novel. It’s near and dear to my heart. I think it’s a different and good story idea. Readers enjoyed the earlier version. I also made changes based on my manuscript editor’s wonderful insights. But no agents bit during my initial querying efforts.
Self-doubt once again has me questioning the novel and my writing. Self-doubt whispers in the night, “This is a bottom of the drawer book.” It jabs during the day job, “The idea’s good, but you can’t execute.“
January doesn’t help. It’s the toughest month for me with long nights and often cold and cloudy days. I’m sure I have some level of Seasonal Affective Disorder. And while I know my spirits will improve when the days lengthen in February, I have to trudge through this longest month first.
I thought about not uploading this post, about leaving only a brief note saying I’d be back Tuesday. But one of my blogging resolutions was to talk about my writing journey. And that includes the lows. Most writers suffer from an overabundance of self-doubt, and sometimes it helps just to hear others say they do, too.
I’ll see what happens with the upcoming round of beta reading. Fresh, objective eyes will give me a better idea of what I have. Spring will be with us and my outlook—improved. And I’ll be moving forward with the WIPs.
How is your winter going? Are you ready for spring? Or are you one of those hardy souls who flourishes even in the cold and dark?