Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Is it Insecurity or Something...Else...

Good morning and Happy May!

Today is the monthly gathering of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you're new to the blog-hop, welcome! Trust me: you've found a wonderful place with a fantastic group of people all ready to surround you with encouragement, give you some helpful advice, and rally around you when you need cheering on!

And if you haven't joined us already, go ahead and click on the tab above! Even if you're new to blogging, new to writing, or both, you'll find the support and a lot of the information you need for this crazy, amazing, strange, glorious journey.

Am I feeling insecure this morning? I just don't know. Last week I finished the second round of edits on a novel I've been working on since last September. The story has been with me much longer, but for some reason, something clicked this past Fall and I was able to get it out of my head and onto the screen.

I thought these edits would be a relief. I thought that once I got to "The End" the third time around, I'd feel a sense of accomplishment. I did get an immense sense of relief. I've enjoyed perhaps too much this past week of NOT writing, NOT editing. But some things have been nipping at the back of my mind that have caused me to second guess my second edits.

IS THIS BOOK THE BEST THE VERY BEST THAT IT CAN BE?
DOES THIS STORY HAVE A DEEPER LAYER THAT I'M AFRAID TO DIG INTO?
AM I JUST BEING PARANOID, WORRIED THAT THE WORK HAS ALL BEEN IN VAIN?
AM I BEING TOO HARD ON MYSELF, NOT ALLOWING MYSELF TO BE "FINISHED"?
DO I HAVE MORE IN ME, MORE OF THIS STORY, THAT I'M NOT ALLOWING TO COME OUT ON THE PAGE?

In other words, is the book really finished (as finished as a book can be before it reaches critique partners and goes through the query stage), or is my gut correct: am I holding myself back in order to "finish" a novel instead of taking out my shovel and pail and get down and dirty and let this story get grit between my fingers and toes?

I don't know. It's probably a little bit of all of the above but I can't help but wonder if still, after the initial drafts and the two edits, if I'm still holding myself back because of the strangeness of it, the glorious madness that is this voice that won't shut up inside my head?

I'm not looking at the story until next week. It's going to sit and stew until this coming Monday. I'll be meditating on all of these questions. I suppose I'll just have to see what kind of Muse I meet when I open my computer on Monday morning.

Have a wonderful day, 
and may all your Insecurities be the mild hallucinations of a weary but happy Muse <3

31 comments:

  1. We've all felt this way. It's natural. I think putting the manuscript away for a bit is the best course of action you can take. And by all means you need to reward yourself for getting this far with it, anyway. You deserve it.

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    1. Thank you so much. Yes, not looking at it has really been the best thing for me. I'm trying to ignore the nagging voices and just let it "be" before I send it to my readers.

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  2. First, congrats on finishing this round of edits. Second, sometimes are guts are telling us something for a reason. Set it aside and meditate on it. Your answer could come...that it's fine the way it is or the solution to fix your concerns. And giving it to a beta reader or two my help to answer your questions, too, from their insight. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you so much, Chrys. I've been meditating on it here and there. Half the time I feel fine with it, the other half I feel like I should rip it apart and rewrite the whole thing! Argh! But I'm happy that it's come this far and I'm almost ready for the next step.

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  3. I struggle with a lot of this, too. I don't have any answers for you, but I do wish you good luck on figuring it all out. :)

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    1. Thank you for the luck! I need it :) We all struggle with this and I do know that. It's just hard when you feel like in your deepest self you've left something out.

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  4. "may all your Insecurities be the mild hallucinations of a weary but happy Muse" Love that. And maybe that's what's worrying you right now, about your novel? But if you feel that you haven't written all that you should, the stuff you're afraid to put to page, then maybe it's time to print your manuscript out and add notes to the margins... Good luck!

    Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Autumn Decisions

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    1. Thank you so much! I've got it all printed out and it has many scratchings on it already. Once I'm ready, I'm going to do just that: see if there are roots to my worries or if I just need to toss it out there and see what happens!

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  5. Such great questions. Good that you're taking a break from it to ponder and discern the right path forward.

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    1. Thank you, Ellen. The break has been much needed. Here's to finding that right path!

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  6. Don't worry. Your crit partners will help you dig deeper. It will be fine. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, they will. I trust them. I just don't trust myself :D

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  7. Exactly - your critique partners will let you know if it needs more. You might be spot-on after all.

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    1. Thank you so much. I think I'll take this week off as well, just to let it sit a bit longer. I'm not ready to face it for one, final re-read! Not yet :)

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  8. You have the best idea to just let the story rest on your laptop or wherever it is. Fresh eyes give you a different perspective on the whole project. I don't know if a writer ever believes the story is finished. We could tweak and tweak and tweak and never be satisfied. When you have done your best, let someone else read it. Best wishes with this project!
    JQ Rose

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    1. Thank you so much. You're so right! I could sit and fix it forever and never give it wings. I need to find that balance and after I let it sit a bit longer, I'm going to give it a final read and send it on to my crit partners.

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  9. I think we could write about "finding the end" quite a bit. It's sometimes not clear that The End really means what it says. Good luck with getting feedback that helps you decide.

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    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate it :)

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  10. Maybe it's time to start writing something else. If those voices still nag, then perhaps they're valid.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I did start on a new story, even though I said I wouldn't! Haha, take that Muse! The voices aren't nagging as badly, but they're still there. Thank you so much for this. I'll definitely be chewing on it when I take the story out for one, final re-read.

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  11. Getting through these revisions is a major accomplishment. It never hurts to let a piece rest for a bit. Then, if you're still uneasy, maybe just put out the first few chapters to one or two partners to get a feel for the feedback - just putting your toe in the water. It's always a bit daunting to let go of something we've written for other eyes.

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    1. Thank you. This is perfect. I've thought about just sending out a few chapters at first, to get a feel for the reception and give my readers just a teaser and see if they want o know more. This is some wonderful confirmation :)

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  12. You've stared at it for too long. Let others have a look. That's all it is.

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    1. Thank you, Diane. I'm almost certain this is exactly what it is!

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  13. Taking a break from the manuscript is sensible and deserved. With my drafts, there is always insecurity and the urge to keep tweaking away rather than show it to anyone. And even if the beta readers make comments, that is a step forward.

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    1. Thank you, Roland. I'm almost convinced that what I need to do is just let my readers have it and see what they think. If they make any comments that confirm my suspicions, then I'll see what I need to do. If not, I could just be making too much out of my own insecurities.

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  14. You are so great. It IS all of the above. And, yes, let it rest. Give your creative cup of tea time to brew.

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    1. Mary, you're wonderful. Thank you so much. It's brewing and steeping and I'm almost ready to give it one, final re-read! <3

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  15. Sometimes you can't know until you've let it rest... and even then until you get some opinions from critique partners and beta readers... and even then, sometimes you just have to submit. Art is never finished, only abandoned

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    1. Thank you so much. You're right! I never feel like anything I do is truly finished but we've got to send it out there at some time! We can't keep it all locked up. I've got to allow that to be a fact and do my best and just see what happens!

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