That’s me drowning in my sorrows as doubt whispers in my ear.
I feel in love with doubt. I lost myself in time, wrapped up in it’s arms, and ate it’s lotus offering. I was like Odysseus and doubt was my Calypso. The minions of doubt filled my head and left me a nothingness.
But this week snapped me out of doubt’s spell. When one of the higher ups in my office asked me some get to know me questions last year, I informed him I was working on a novel. And since then, from time to time, he’ll ask me how it’s going. He asked me again recently, and the words just slipped through my mouth. “I’m working on my second draft.” It felt so good to say that. It was true. I’ve gone farther than I ever have before. I haven’t given up. Sure, I wish I could be like other writers, write a novel in a month and have it polished and ready to go in another month, but that’s not me and that’s cool. I need to stop comparing myself to others.
Today I plotted my entire novel. Thanks to Annie’s awesome novel sheet found on her website
. I was able to really pinpoint some weak spots, and get a big picture of my work in progress.
I am making progress.
It’s so easy to get bogged down in the middle of the revision process. You start to see plot holes, characters aren’t making sense anymore, and you just think about your novel and pull up the covers over your head. When you bring your work to critique groups, you can’t hear the positive. You only hear the negative comments through a speakerphone.
Take a break.
But come back to it. Print out your whole novel at least once and thumb through the pages. Today I found several pages I needed to cut, but I could see that now. I couldn’t before. I even laughed at some really good scenes. I can write a funny scene, I can make people laugh, and connect to characters. You can too. Remember why you fell in love with your story in the first place.
Remember, you can’t please everyone all of the time. Please yourself, write something you’d want to pick up and read.
You can defeat doubt. Her spell can be broken.
So I’m going to do a bit of self patting on the back. One of Annie’s blog posts inspired me.
Here are five things I do well in writing:
1) I am awesome at metaphors.
2) I am awesome at having characters have their own distinct style of speech.
3) I am awesome at one liners and puns.
4) I am awesome of subtle hints of sarcasm and remarks on culture.
5) I am awesome of coming up with original ideas for stories.
Join in! What are five things you are awesome at in life or in writing?