December 04, 2002

1475 Words

but the self-doubt looms: I can't shake it. Rather than repeat myself in two places, this is what I had to say about my self-doubt in a post to the Breakout Novel Board:

I knew it would happen sooner or later. I'm in the thick of my middle, actually on the second half of the middle, and now things are getting wonky. I don't know if my judgment is clouded by self-doubt, or if the writing is really as out of control as it feels; somewhere in there I lost my rhythm. I'm still writing, trying to push through, but it's getting harder and harder and now every choice I make, from the structure of a scene down to each individual word, I find myself second-guessing. At the same point, my enthusiasm for the project continues to hold strong. But I've literally got this sick feeling in my stomach that I'm failing, that I've done it all wrong, that this will never be the book I want it to be, not even by half. And (the biggie) I'm convinced it will never get published.

I know. I'm obsessing. But I can't get out of this funk. I think part of it might be the forced time-off I took for Thanksgiving. I lost my stride. But I was noticing these fears, obsessions, or doubts creeping in before I took the time off.

This actually happens to me with every book I've ever written. When I first started writing this was the very point where I'd quit, thinking some other idea would work itself out better. I have loads of half-finished novels, though for the most part I've kicked the not-finishing habit. Why does this happen? Why does it seem like there's this little saboteur hiding in my subconscious, waiting for the right moment to demolish my progress and short-circuit my confidence? Is there any way to evict the bastard, or am I stuck with him? Anyone else even have a clue about what I'm talking about?

Whew! Glad I got that off my chest.