I do. I’m just not good at them.
This week I’ve been busy doing another read through of my MS. I’d finished my edits and needed to read through the book to make sure it all worked out. There’s this weird thing that happens with me occasionally where I just decide I’m not very good at this whole writing thing. I know that most (all?) writers have self-doubt. I imagine even the greats sometimes looked at their words and were just like, “Really? Who told you that this was any good?” I reached that during this reading. It wasn’t that I doubted my edits, I don’t, I think they make the book SO MUCH BETTER. I just doubted me. I doubted what I was doing. And sort of like writers block, I just had to push through it.
I finished the read through yesterday and sent it back to Eric with this gif. And it expressed exactly how I felt.
I come to writing (sort of) via acting and teaching. I’m used to being under pressure and expected to perform. Writing for me is more intimate than theater (even the Top Shelf at Dad’s Garage where the house only have like 50 people). I feel extremely vulnerable putting my stories out there for people to read. People that I know are not going to love them. I don’t know of a single book that is universally loved and I know that my book won’t be the first. And that is okay. I guess all of this is to say that I feel more insecure than I did when I was acting or teaching. I remember being in front of a classroom of 20+ middle schoolers and feeling completely confident in what I was teaching them. I knew how to do that, it was something I’d trained to do. I rarely felt out of my depths in my classroom. But I do feel out of depths here.
And that’s okay too.
All that means is this is important to me. And it is. It is something I really want to do and I want to do it well. That’s why this last read through was so important. I wanted to make sure that the MS I was sending was exactly what it should have been.
One thing I learned in the theater was if you’re not just a little bit nervous than you aren’t taking it seriously. So, my nerves and self-doubt are good things.
Thank you for participating in Kati’s long and rambling confessions on self-doubt.