the kinetic pen

wired by words

Writers Celebrate Their Work One Day, Doubt It the Next

4 Comments

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.

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Author: thekineticpen

Freelance journalist working on a narrative nonfiction book about a woman who, after the freak death of her husband, decides to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to deal with her grief and finds a second chance at love.

4 thoughts on “Writers Celebrate Their Work One Day, Doubt It the Next

  1. What you have written here, resonates so much with me right now. One moment I feel on top of the world with the final editing of my latest novel and the next down in the dumps, plagued by doubt-filled questions. How can this book ever stack up to the last? Maybe the whole premise sucks? EEEKKK. But, as you say, it will pass. Thanks for reinforcing this for me. I needed it.

  2. It’s always nice to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? I appreciate you letting me know that my words resonated with you. Much luck. (And think about how good the second book will look when you’re working on your third!)

  3. I know exactly how you feel. Thanks for blogging about this. It helps to know I’m not the only writer who has down days as well as up days!

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