Did you ever enthusiastically start something, leap into it with all guns blazing, get halfway through and then suddenly think, ‘Oh shit – what the fuck am I doing?’ Well that’s happened to me in the last week with my novel. Crisis? As Bon Jovi once sang: you got to keep the faith.
When writing, confidence is like a roller coaster. So much so that if I represent my confidence in my novel as a graph, it would look something like the below, which to me looks a damn good coaster to ride on:
A – Initial planning. Not too sure if it’s gonna work, so playing around with ideas.
B – Idea sorted, the select few people I’ve shared the idea with seem to like it. Let’s get it on!
C – Writing away, going well. It’s gonna work!
D – The first few chapters are read by a select few. A good response, but there’s more editing required than I realised.
E – Accepted all comments. Confident that story is still sound and once edits are done will be much stronger.
F – I subject my idea to a forum. It doesn’t receive much support. Maybe I didn’t explain it well. Or maybe it’s doomed…
G – Bounce back. I’ve learned a lot from F, and realise that it was the wrong audience. I still believe!
At F, with over 50,000 words done and you read from the odd person that the idea doesn’t look interesting, backed up with a few quizzical comments from others, you start to doubt yourself. Then you worry. Then you slip into a hole where all you can see is pages and pages of text that won’t sell, won’t be of interest to anyone and before you know it you’re thinking what a waste of time this is and shouldn’t I stop playing at being a writer and get a job?
That’s when you crank up Bon Jovi.
You don’t give up your dream because a few people doubt you.
You don’t tear up your work because it’s not in a perfect shape.
You don’t discard your ideas at the first hurdle when you really do believe in them.
What you do do is: you get on with it, finish it and then make it the best piece of work it can be.
There’ll be plenty of bumps, twists and turns to come yet, I’m sure. I’m determined to ride it out until the end, jump off and shout, “Let’s go round again!”