All writers, I think, go through periods of angst.
Mine usually happen after I turn a manuscript in to a publisher (or, if it’s a self-published work, when I turn it over to the editor) and I start thinking that said manuscript sucks giant horse ass and WTF was I thinking, turning it in like that?
The angst gets even worse when I start another project or resume work on one. Generally, after I finish writing a novel, I usually take about a week or two off from writing, and let my brain and muses recover. Unless something is totally demanding that I write it.
In this case — with my latest bout of angst — I took about 10 days off and then started doing re-writes on a project I hope to publish in the spring.
And I’ve had nothing but angst with this one, even to the point of actually not being able to sleep. Even though I really like working with these characters and this story.
The thought that dogs me: is this novel good enough? It has a lot to live up to, because the novella on which it’s based is proving to be rather popular with quite a few readers. I really like these characters, and I’ve been with them, now, for about seven years. I want to do them justice, and I want to do their story justice, but I’m freaking out that I’ll totally drop the ball and deliver a suck-fest.
And then I remember that I do this every time I finish a book. I write two series, and when I start the next installment in either, I freak out that it won’t be good enough, and that it won’t even make it up to what the others delivered (which I hope is good).
So I’m battling angst as I work on this particular project. The funny thing is, I had a serious case of angst when I released the novella on which this novel is based. The same kinds of freak-outs, the same feelings that I was sending my characters out into the world to get their asses kicked.
Maybe it’s just these particular characters. I don’t worry so much about the other ones. Maybe I worry about these because this storyline has a very special place in my heart, and I didn’t want to see these characters get their asses kicked. That is, I know that there are people out there who are not fans of what I write, and they’ll find fault no matter what I do. So I knew my characters would get smacked around a bit. And I know they’ll weather the storm, just as I do, but this particular storyline has really made me angsty, though I absolutely love working on it.
Upshot? Yeah. I’m in a writer-angst period. But that goes with the territory, in this writing life. I generally try to back-burner the angst and continue working on the project, but sometimes, the angst gets the better of me. That’s when I watch movies.
Any other writers go through angst?
In spite of all that, I hope everyone had a great weekend and that you’re recharged and ready for the week.
Interesting. I experience delayed-intelligence angst. Like, after I finish book #4 (which I just did), I go back and think, Jeeezus, but book #1 really needs re-writing. And I read bits of book #1 and suffer terribly. It’s atrocious! It’s overwritten! It should be blasted from virtual shelves with digital dynamite. I can’t sleep. I now know that everyone who reads it is laughing and pointing at me. They know I’m an idiot. Sadly, I know now, too. Sigh.
This is why I have to drink more. 🙂
OMG, I totally do that, too! I just finished a book 4 in a series and now I’m all, WTF? I need to re-write 1-3! And I have the same thoughts: “WTF was I thinking when I wrote THAT? Jeeziz! Holy mother-of-pearl, but that paragraph right there in book 2 is sucking giant ass…” Yes. I go through that. We should have a drink.
It’s somehow heartening to know angst is not a solitary condition. I hear you.
My font of hope has lately sprung from this quote, I share from my heart:
THE MAN IN THE ARENA
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Keep on, keepin’ on, Andi!
Thanks. Much appreciated.
Screw the angst! Sit your self down and write, those that enjoy your books are waiting! I realize all you writer types go through some angst, and I do wish I had the magic in my power to reasure you all, All I can tell you is a reader I apperiate all you witers go through to keep me in new books
Right now I have an editor looking at my latest project. I saw her today and she didn’t mention it one way or another. So naturally that means it’s terrible, not thet she hasn’t actually started it yet, right?
Oh, dude. I know that feeling…
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