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.