Today, I decided to do a post on the one thing I consider to be worse than writer’s block- writer’s doubt. Writer’s block. we all know, is when the creative juices just stop flowing and you have no idea what to write next. It can be excruciating as all you want to do is finish your lovely, sparkling piece of work, but simply don’t know how to. Writer’s doubt, I’ve discovered, is even worse. You know exactly which path to take to finish your work, but you lose all confidence in yourself and your writing ability.
I’m the first to admit that this week, I’ve been struck with writer’s doubt. I think it’s good to admit when you’re struggling with your novel; as much as we’d all love to present ourselves as Super Writers to prospective agents, we’re all human at the end of the day and writing isn’t easy. I got to a point with The Dream List and just lost all confidence in my ability to finish it. I felt absolutely awful; I’ve spent the last eight-and-a-half months working on it, let my family and friends read it and let everyone here read it. I just thought that any finished product wouldn’t be good enough. The beginning was clogged with too much happening, the middle would end up the same and the end would be underwhelming.
So I did what any writer would do- start a new draft to make things better. I wanted to make the beginning slicker and get right into the action early. But as I was writing, I suddenly rememebred all the good things about Draft 4 and, more importantly, that I’d made them happen. I had a good read through of it and rediscovered my love for it. I then promptly scrapped Draft 5 and went back to Draft 4 with a renewed confidence in myself. It’s now going better than ever and I’m so happy with its progress.
It’s OK to have doubts about your piece of work though. Don’t feel like it’s a failure on your part or that you’re a bad writer. The best thing to do is take some time out, do some free writing and rediscover your love for what you’re doing. Writing is one of the hardest things to do (character creation, dialogue, editing and that’s BEFORE you submit!) and it’s perfectly natural to have ups and downs with it. That’s partly why I started this blog- to document my writing journey, both good and bad.