Sunday, September 09, 2007

The FEAR

I'm a little down today. I've been reading a few articles recently that were beautifully written; instead of spuring me on, they've made me feel small. How can I compete with that? I can't be that original, I can't express myself that eloquently.

But the articles have merely stoked the FEAR. The FEAR was planted exactly one minute after I finished my first draft. First came elation; then came dread. What if I couldn't rewrite it properly? I was sure to make a mess of it, I'd never edited a novel before. I'd always had to grip my desk with both hands to stop me from leaving an exam before checking my work. Now not only do I have to re-read my awful blathering, I actually have to point out how terrible it is and then attempt to write something better. How the hell did I ever think I could do this?

And then another voice says: "Suck it up."

10 comments:

laurie said...

one chapter at a time, one paragraph at a time, one word at a time. you can do it.

Macoosh said...

it will be glorious. :)

i like your other voice. it talks sense. haha

hellojed said...

Laurie, you are absolutely right - that will be my mantra. Thank you.

Macoosh, thank you too! I'll better stop talking about my voices or the men in white coats will take me away...

Beccy said...

You can do...have faith in yourself we have faith in you.

alfaking said...

For fear of offending you: you lack self-confidence; you underestimate your capacity.

My advice: Don't get biased by others' writings. Everyone excels in his own sphere. Yours can be as good if not better. Just trust yourself.

hellojed said...

Beccy, thank you!

Alfaking, I definitely lack self-confidence. An occupational hazard unfortunately. Bill Oddie reckons that the collective noun for writers should be an "insecurity of writers". ;)

Brennig said...

Really, the biggest thing is peer review.

Get your draft in front of diverse groups of people and ask them to be completely honest.

I designed a feedback form - the design of which I based on my own reviews of various published works.

For my first novel I used 40 people in four categories of 'reader' and their feedback was a revelation - and not half as painful as I thought it was going to be.

jen said...

Some days are just paralysing - my brain goes blank after reading a stunning piece of prose and I feel like an imposter who's going to be found out any minute and carted away for crimes against writing. So you're definitely not alone in this! Every writer is their own worst critic. (And I love that Bill Oddie quote!)

But Laurie's advice is very good. This is about your voice, your creation. Don't let the fear stop you in your tracks when you've come this far on your journey. (That last bit sounds naff but you know what I mean...)

Angie said...

Oh dear, the Fear is an awful companion, but as Jen says, you're not alone with it. I think overcoming it is harder than the editing itself, but Laurie's advice is spot on. We all know you can do it!

Uiscebot said...

keep goin man your doin great already! Theres tons miles behind where you are, and behind them there's me!!