On any given day (or minute) I swing wildly between thinking I either suck and couldn’t possibly write anything good to thinking I’m great if I write a particularly clever piece. After reading many other writer’s blogs I’ve come to realise that we, as writers, nearly all feel this way.
It’s called cognitive dissonance – the ability to hold two completely opposing views at the same time while simultaneously accepting both of them to be true.
It’s worse as an independent author
As independent authors I think this is even more common since we don’t have anyone else (apart from readers and even then that’s subjective) to give us validation that we are any good (and your family will always tell you you are good because they don’t want to hurt your feelings).
For traditionally published author’s it’s much easier:
- A publishing company accepts us (that must mean we are great right?)
- or agents to reject us (I must suck no-one wants to represent me).
But for us indie’s we are just flailing along throwing words at a page and trying to make them good but not really really knowing if we are succeeding or not.
You would think then that other writer’s would support you and help you and give you that confidence to spurt words on paper. But alas most of us are self-serving hypocrites too busy trying to fix our own plot holes than help a fellow author out.
Creative types (actor’s, writers, painters, musicians etc) are often waiting for the time that they are found out. That people discover that they really have no talent and they are a hack. Even the truly talented ones.
It’s so common.
So we all think we suck and are awesome. At the same time. I do. You probably do.
Is it any wonder that many great authors are bi-polar? This is a tough game.
At it’s worst.
For me, the worst moment that this happens is when I’m about to publish a new story through either KDP or Smashwords. My finger hovers over the Publish button. Should I click? What if it’s not ready? Oh god – what am I thinking? Save Draft. There. Breathe. Try again tomorrow.
Or when a book that I’m particularly proud of get’s a scathing 1 star review on Amazon. “This ‘writer’ doesn’t know how to use comma’s“. Oh, my, god. I suck.
But then I write a good story. One that worked out well and I think people will like. Phew. I have talent. Someone gives it praise – even though it’s only hubby. He counts right? Yah. I knew I could do this.
Ain’t writing fun.