We writers are nervous creatures, perpetually doubting our worth, finding ourselves falling way short of our own standards. I’m no exception. I no longer hate my work as I used to, because don’t think I hate myself quite as much now. Over months and years, I’ve come to understand that I have no control over where my writing goes. I must simply do the work, and try and get better at it. It is a process, a long one, and losing patience does not help.
Recently, I came across this article in Catapult where Eva Recinos explores how taking time away from writing is an important part of the process, and self-doubt a natural occurrence. She quotes:
“My favorite tool for dealing with self-doubt is the first thought, second thought, first action method, which I learned about in 12-Step spaces,” said Pickens. “It goes like this: You’re not responsible for your first thought. Instead, you’re responsible for your second thought and your first action . . . When self-doubt comes up, it’s helpful to remember that that is just your first thought and you can discard it.”
Since January, I’ve known that I was in need of a new agent. My earlier agent, though a wonderful person, was simply not the right fit in terms of the market where I wanted to appear.
A few months in the querying trenches, and boatloads of self-doubt later, I have another agent: the wonderful Lucienne Diver from the Knight agency.
This has been a relief, but I do not know what the Universe holds in store for my writing journey. All I can do is buckle up, get done with the revisions on the new manuscript I queried even as I plan the next ones. Failure is a part of the process. I’ve embraced it now: it depresses me for a day or two and then I’m back up and running.
Self-doubt is an asset at the moment–the more I doubt my work, the better my edits because the flaws in my MS are clearer. Hoping to take July off this space and social media in order to enter a revision cave, and get the MS submission ready.
What about you? How has June been for you? What plans, writing or otherwise, have you made for July?
PS: I sent out the Daily (w)rite Writing gazette late this month, and am skipping July altogether–so if you’re subscribed to it, I’ll show up again in your inbox in Septembert! I’ll still post and respond here, but my social media will see a lot of silence.
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