It hit at a red light.
I was minding my own business, heading to Barnes & Noble, feeling pretty good despite running errands in a downpour, when something shifted and all of a sudden I had this feeling that my book was going to be a flop. Staring past the windshield wipers, my hand frozen in the bag of nuts in my lap, I thought of the editing decisions I’d made in the past week – the ones that altered the structure a bit to make the story flow so much better, the ones I’d celebrated in conversation – and became drowned in doubt.
Hours before, everything had been fine. Hours later, everything was fine again.
So why the wavering?
It’s like anything, I suppose. Some days we look at our children and marvel at how well they’re turning out (we must be darn good parents); other days their behavior exasperates us (we suck at being good role models). Some days we have a great workout and feel like a million bucks; other days we have two cookies after dinner and feel nothing but flab.
Writers always want to produce their best, and some days, our best is better than others. Some days our worst is not as bad as it seems.
The trick is to keep on writing, getting feedback, making integral changes when necessary and trusting your gut when the story makes it known that it wants to be told in a different way. It’s surprising and magnificent when that happens, even as it makes us question whether we’re doing the right thing, given that for so long we had something else in mind.
Today, I’m choosing to applaud this most recent alteration as the best way to tell the story. The sun outside proves it.