The Downside of Novel Writing (Or what happens when self-doubt kicks in)

I have been writing daily all through November. 

I did Nanowrimo and finished the novel I had started. I have been a member of Nanowrimo since 2010 and never done that. It turns out, there is a first time for everything. (If you are wondering, what the heck is this Nanowrimo you speak of - here's a link to their webpage. )

I carried on working on it, editing it, editing it again, printing a hard copy and editing it some more, until none of it made sense and it was just loads of words jiggling about in front of me.

I have now sent it to my Beta readers and feel bereft. 

And, as soon as the email wafted away down the internet tubes into the ether, I wanted to change it.

I have also got to the point where I am filled with self doubt. I think the whole thing is pants. Why do I bother? Especially when the chances of me actually getting a real life publisher to read it is so slim that I may as well be ice skating on top of a tiny fish tank. 

The one thing I am fairly confident of, is that everything I am feeling is fairly normal. 

Did I fall a bit in love with a couple of my characters? Yep.

Did I do things with them I would never dare to do in real life? Yep.

Did they take me with them on their journey so I was completely at their whim? At times, yes.

And, I know my beta readers are excellent writers and will give me brilliant feedback which will help me to sculpt and craft this monster of a novel (I wrote 126K - I have never written that much, ever!) into something better. Unless it's all utter crap...

What if it is utter crap, what if no one ever wants to read it ever? What have I been doing with my days, apart from making my carpal tunnel worse? 

Being a writer is shit. Don't get me wrong - the highs, when it is going well, are brilliant - at one point I referred to it (my novel) in my head, as my magnum opus... I know I was in the moment! Don't judge me.  

I know I need a break from it.

Today I did other things to distract myself, because if I think about it, I realise I may have twiddled with it too much and ruined it, like those painters on Portrait Artist of the Year, they get a fantastic likeness to their sitter and then suddenly in the last few minutes they lose it. I think I may have done that. Lost the essence of it with twiddling, faffing and general discombobulation.  

Damn it. Who would do this to themselves and yet it's and itch I have to scratch. 

My advice here is, just don't, don't if you don't need to. If you don't have to get the words out of your mind onto a page, just don't, because it will make you cry, scream, laugh hysterically and then rock quietly in a corner while your cat bothers you. 

He is just about to bother me. Look at his little evil face.

Anyway, if you like this, please share. Thanks. 




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