Thursday, November 11, 2010

Letting Go.

Okay, so I'm in the land of dreaded revisions. At least I dread them. I know I shouldn't frown at the prospect of tightening up my MS, but writing just feels so free and exciting in that first draft, and I love watching how the story unfolds before me. But revisions are more like work, the serious stuff, no more writing with reckless abandon. Now it's time to remove all the overwriting and press the delete key a lot more than I would have ever imagined. (A whole lot more) And it's in these moments of revising my work that I tend to second guess myself the most. I used to wonder if this was normal. Did J.K. Rowling, Alyson Noel, or Stephanie Meyer ever stop and ask themselves: "What am I doing-I actually just created a football game for broom riding wizards, a vampire who reads people's thoughts and feeds off the blood of animals, and an immortal something or other, when I really should  be vacuuming." Well, of course they did. And self doubt is just another ingredient that makes us human. Without it, we'd walk around feeling superior and our work would suffer greatly. We'd never attempt to fix something, if we felt it wasn't broken to start with. It took me awhile to realize that we must learn to feed off of our self doubt. It is, after all, the driving force that makes our work better. The voice of self doubt is not an internal whisper trying to persuade you to quit. (mine sometimes like's to scream and say inappropriate things-truly hateful) It's actually a powerful asset forcing us to persevere and we must lean on that voice, use it, and allow it to mold us into the writer's we are destined to become-published or not. (published would be better than not) So tell me, have you made your peace with self doubt? If you're still battling it out, that's okay. You can tell us that too. It's what we're all here for. (Jeeze, I'm all serious today. Worry not people-it will not last;)


  1. I'm going to be diving into revisions in the new year - I need a break after finishing the first draft.

    Self-doubt always makes me work harder because I don't want to be the person who lets it keep them from their dreams.

  2. I'm right there with you soul-sister. I keep revising and revising and revising some more. Why can't I get it right the first time!

  3. Alas, I forgot the question mark after my last sentence. Like I said, "Why can't I get it right the first time?"

  4. Great post!

    I am learning to listen more to my inner critic. If I had listened the first time around, I would have waited on sending out my MS until my inner critic stopped wailing at me :)

  5. Melissa-I did the same thing. A break before revisions is always a good thing to do. It will give you a critical eye.
    Susan-you're hilarious. I ask myself the same questions all the time.
    And Mary- I queried a few agents early too. I think most of us just get so excited that we actually finished writing the story that we don't even think about the mistakes. Maybe they won't remember us when we are ready to send;)

  6. Good question I think they must have shut off their internal editors or they'dve never succeeded. I do find myself questioning stuff and that inhibits creativity. To be successful it seems we need to be determined and businesslike! LOL! :O)


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