So here’s what I’m learning the more I spend time writing full-length books that I think is important to talk about. There is a serious cycle of self-doubt that happens as you are working on a story. Somewhere in the middle of the first draft, not always in the same spot, I hit a spot where I’m suddenly not confident at all in the writing. It can last a few days or a really, really long time.
With Breaking Eselda that spot came early. I drafted and wrote the first 15 or so chapters and then hit that spot. I was convinced my writing was absolutely terrible. I don’t think I moved past those 15 chapters for a really long time. It may have even been a year. Did the book require edits? Sure, eventually. But that wasn’t my issue, not really. My issue was confidence. I had to find it. I had to convince myself that I was the person to tell this story and finish it.
This time around, while working on the fourth book in the Fraun series, it’s hitting me really close to the end of the first draft. I’ve made it this far. I’ve actually pushed through and found things that will make the earlier books stronger. I’ve fixed issues that bothered me while I was in the cycle of doubt for Book 3. I know this will pass. I’ll come out on the other side with a finished manuscript and get some major editing done and turn it into a story that I love, just like the rest.
But right now? Right now I think it’s weak writing. Right now I think it’s not good enough. Right now I have doubts about what this story is even trying to say.
I thought I’d write this post today for all the other authors or writers out there who have hit that spot in a manuscript and thought it may be real. For the people out there who give in to that feeling, even for a little while. For the people who think that self-doubt is correct.
Everyone feels that. It’s part of the creative process. Beat that self-doubt down. Finish the story.