Recently I was having some email banter with a group of my writer friends. One of them is working on her first novel, was feeling insecure about it, and asked if this lack of confidence would dissipate as she gets more experienced in writing.
So another friend, a veteran with several novels under her belt, shared this:
The complete lack of confidence will likely persist and even become worse as you progress. I called my editor this summer and said, “What the heck is going on? This is my sixth novel! Shouldn’t I at least have my creative process figured out by now?!” And she laughed at me.
And then through snorts she said, “Oh my gosh, is that really how you think this works?”
I couldn’t help nodding in recognition at this exchange, because as an agent I’m the recipient of many of these kinds of emails. The “I thought my writing was getting better—why is my editorial letter still 12 pages long?!” emails. The “Sometimes this is so hard I feel like crying” emails.
I think the writing journey is one of fits and starts . . . good days and bad days . . . times where you know you’ve nailed it and times when you wonder what ever made you think you can write. This is normal! This is why everyone always says it’s a tough road. Half the battle is dealing with your own mental and emotional responses to your situation.
So take heart…if you’re not finding this easy, you’re not alone. If it was easy, anyone could do it.