Last year I watched the Oscars with two friends. At some point an award for writing was presented, and while I don’t remember who won it, I do remember what he said, because I burst out laughing.
He said something along the lines of…writers hate themselves.
When I laughed my two friends looked at me in surprise, so I explained to them that I found the comment hilarious and true. Not that I hate myself all the time or anything, but since I became a published author I’ve definitely experienced the occasional spell of self-loathing while working on a book. Crippling, almost paralyzing self-doubt taunts me in the form of these kinds of questions: Is this terrible? What if my fans hate this? Where is this story going? What am Idoing? What business do I have trying to make a living as a novelist?
My friends were shocked to learn this about me. They think my life is perfect. (Ha.) Don’t get me wrong. I love being a full-time author, and I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m also well aware that there are a lot of people out there who would cut off a limb to be in my position. However, when I was trying to get my first novel (Perfect on Paper) published, I remember thinking that once published, writing future books would be easy because I would feel like I had made it. Unfortunately, I was dead wrong. Perfect on Paper reached #2 overall on Amazon, yet here I am, seven books later, still experiencing self-doubt. Maybe it’s that sense of insecurity that fuels the creative process and pushes me to tell good stories, but it certainly wasn’t something I expected to last this long!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2016 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.