If you’ve been reading my blog regularly, you’ll (hopefully) see that I’ve been moving towards more topic-based posts, as opposed to just ranting into the cyber-void. It means focusing on a single idea and writing around it, hoping to give information others could use, or to provide encouragement.
Today isn’t really like that. I mean, it might get there, eventually. In the end. We’ll see.
But right now? Right now, I’m carrying this bundle of disparate thoughts and am having a hard time filtering the emotional maelstrom I’m carrying around into something intelligible. Something actionable for you, my dear reader.
Anyone paying attention to my social media and blog posts should not be surprised to hear I’m struggling with my novel. My blessed, wretched novel, whose three-year-old birthday is coming up in a month. That steaming pile of anxiety and confusion that I haven’t been able to conquer and can’t walk away from.
I’ve hit milestones on it. The first draft that no one read. The second draft that got beta read. The six rewrites after that. Another round of betas. I’m currently working on the tenth version of this thing.
Ten versions, three years, countless hours…
When the fuck does the doubt stop? When does it come together? When does it ever stop feeling like I’m floundering?
Sure, I can point to all sorts of awesome things that have happened along the way. But none of them are a book that’s ready for querying. That’s what I’ve been working towards, right? Is that road ever going to end?
I’ve had massively supportive friends, writers and non-writers alike, along the way. But you know what else has been there the whole way? That fucking doubt. That piece-of-shit voice needling me in the god damned ear drums.
I’ve written blog posts about setting small goals and achieving them, about imposter syndrome, mental health… I’ve covered all this. I’ve been here. I just want to know when I will not be here any more.
But maybe that’s the whole point of this post. To shine a light on that doubt. To talk about all the work that’s been done and everything else still waiting to be done. To get out the bad so I can continue with the good. Perhaps this was just a cleansing ritual. I do feel a little better…
So, off I go. This month and the next, I’ve re-dedicated myself to Rat. My writer friend and I are going to be in editing hell, working on our novels, for the next two months. Doing write-ins, meetups, and keeping each other honest. And motivated. And commiserating over beer, likely.
Expect more rants in August and September. Send encouragement. Or be brutal taskmasters. I respond to both.
Thanks for reading this. If you’re going through anything like this, let me know. And know you aren’t alone.
Love you all.