Today is the last day of January and for me that’s reason to celebrate. It means another chunk of winter is behinds us and we are that much closer to spring. Of course, I’m even more excited because it means Providence will be officially in the world in only 46 days! Plus, I should have my author copies here sometime in February!
This morning the writer’s group I’m in met. Our conversations took some bizarre turns today, but one conversation centered on me. (Not that a conversation about me couldn’t turn bizarre, but…) I am having a real crisis in confidence. We talked a bit about how this happens to many authors just before their book is released.
Truthfully, though, my shaky spirit isn’t much about Providence. It is mostly about my WIP. Providence is written, edited, copyedited, and proofed. It has a spiffy cover and jacket. Within weeks it will be trucking along to bookstores. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it now. There will be no more changes. No more second guessing. I have no more control over the situation. I am finding that to be freeing.
My WIP is another story altogether. I am struggling with revising the ending. Then I need to go through the whole thing again to make sure the parts still flow together, make sense, and follow the timeline. The problem is when I’m struggling I am much more susceptible to wounds from words not even directed toward me. For example:
- I read a tweet that said if a revision takes more than two or three months, then you’re doing it wrong. I’ve been revising this for 6+ months. What does that say about my manuscript?
- I read an author’s blog about how books just flow from her normally. Since she was struggling with her WIP, that meant the book wasn’t worth publishing. I struggle with every book I write – what does that say about my work?
- I read another article that bashed writing from the first person POV. Providence is told from the first person POV and so is my WIP. Should I abandon that POV?
One member of the group recommended isolation. In other words, I need to stop reading blogs and articles that make me question myself. I need to bunker down and go into self-protection mode until I get my confidence back.
Have you ever experienced your confidence crashing? If so, what did you do to deal with it, to get it under control?
2 thoughts on “Crumbling Confidence”
Isolation is a good option when in writing mode if it works for you. I often see authors disappear while cranking out a book. That can work IF you don’t also have a book about to drop. Book drop through release is when you need to get your face out there and engage the public/fellow authors/media. Now to find a balance that will allow you to chase your demons away while working on your revisions, while celebrating your 1st fiction book. So, let’s do lunch next week and I’ll tell you why those bloggers mentioned above are wrong.
I think writing is a very individual process and it is not always valid to listen to the comments you bullteted above. You’ve done this successfully once before, and it sounds like you have a supportive crit group. Taking a break from reading social media might be a good thing — I’ve been considering it myself. Sometimes the chatter of advice (which is often conflicting) can be overwhelming. On the other hand, I recently read a tweet expressing insecurity from a multi-published author I regard highly — so you are in good company.
Wishing you the best,