This post would have been written earlier, but I woke up with the worst headache I have had in a while. The kind of migraine that makes your face hot, your eyes sore, and your neck stiff. Oh well.
Anyway, this post isn’t about migraines, it’s about The Earl and the Artificer and writing. I’m hitting that “I’m nearly done, so now I’m getting really self-conscious about my story because I don’t know if it’s good or not.” Part of the problem I think comes from the fact that I really liked The Winter Garden, and this book is nothing like it. There isn’t that darkness or intimacy that I enjoyed writing in that book, and because I know that will be in book four, I feel myself being pulled toward that book while forcing myself to finish this one.
The odd thing is, I like this book. I like the softer tone, the different focus on intimacy, the role Hadley plays in this book, and the new character, Nadir Talbot. I keep reminding myself that I feel this way every time I hit the 2/3 mark of my manuscript. Typically, I’m a fairly confident person, so feeling down about my work is a bit soul-sucking. This book has done this to me more than either of the others, and I have to think I’m doing something right. I’m trying some new things, expanding the cast of characters and delving into history. Probably when I begin editing it, I will feel better about it, especially after I tighten things up and smooth over some early draft hiccups.
Thus far, I am at 68,000 words (not including what I’ll write tonight). Something else that’s bothering me is that I wrote so much in August that September feels meager. I know, grad school started, so I need to consider that I have new sources of stress and that I’m adjusting to the new schedule and balancing act. I’m set to hit my minimum monthly goal of 10,000 words in a few days, and I should finish in October. That scares me. I’m nearly done. Oh my god, I will be DONE soon. I’ll finish it and it will be out in the world before I know it.
Writing makes you vulnerable, and at the moment, that terrifies me. After two times, you would think I would be over it, but you’re laying yourself out for judgment each time you publish, letting the reader get an intimate glimpse of your inner world. Sometimes it’s just harder than others.
8 thoughts on “Fear, Self-Doubt, and an Update”
Being done is almost as scary as starting, huh? I guess all we can do as writers is trust that what we wrote is good enough and hope that we’re inspired to write more books–so we’re never really “done.”
Definitely true. I think I actually feel worse at the end than the beginning usually. Less options and more to fix at the end.
I know writing can be very solitary and you are sending revealing bits of yourself out into a void. Know that you do have fans, what your doing it worthwhile, and you are succeeding. I notice the actions you have taken to expand your knowledge and writing skills. I applaud you. You do have people who have enjoyed your books, followed your development and we are looking forward to book 3. You have fans.
Thanks, Alice ❤ That made my day. Writing definitely feels like you're writing into the void sometimes, but seeing posts like this make it worthwhile.
Kara, I know you can handle all of these things. Writing, grad school. Hang in there and keep pushing!
Thanks, Seth (and Casey, not sure who controls the account, lol) 🙂
That’s the way it goes. But if you didn’t enjoy the doing of it, even the 10,000 word goal wouldn’t matter much, or it would turn into a terrible stick instead of a sweeter carrot.
That’s very true. I do love it, even when it gets hard. I wouldn’t have it any other way.