Sunday, 25 August 2013

What's Your Confidence Like, As A Writer?

Doubts and more doubts! That was yesterday - a day full. Why, I hear you ask. Quite simply, having begun the day editing my novel, discovering a major plot flaw (and yes, I did plan but perhaps not as well as I could have done) and also realising that I have lost a character, my heart sunk. Yes - I admit it. Apparently one also requires detectives in the writing process, especially with someone like myself in the midst. Honestly, how do you lose a character? What's happened is that way back in chapter four, a very minor character makes her first appearance and is then forgotten about. She simply does not work in that capacity so evidently there's a spot of re-writing to do there. So, having beaten myself with my ruler - best I can do as it's one of only a few writers tools available to me . . .


I decided to take a break so I wandered over to Linkedin - there are some quite useful discussions in the writers groups that I participate in. One discussion was about self publishing. A chap, who is a writer and a writing coach, replied stating the damning facts of self published authors, even published authors for that matter. It was a very bleak summary, stating that unless you are in the 1% of authors who actually make a decent or perhaps lucrative living, then you'll either make a poor living or barely nothing at all from your writing. That's not exactly what you want to hear. So, for anyone in it simply to make money, if they read that yesterday, it might have been enough to break them. I'll admit that it made me feel worse. And it's not the first time I've had a 'wobble,' and it probably won't be the last, but every time I begin to doubt myself, and the project I'm working on, I get a sign. I'm not superstitious as such but I truly mean every time I doubt my ability, something happens that is directly related to my project. It's the most bizarre thing, but even yesterday, settling down to watch television, a programme came on directly related to my writing. So, something out there is certainly driving me, or at least that's how I like to think about it.

Retaining perspective is essential. I already know that being a writer does not make you wealthy or even produce a lucrative career, especially not in the early years. However, what others have shown is that your books can and will sell, with effective marketing from your own hard graft, and that in time, if you persevere, it is possible to at least make a living. It all helps.

So, today is a gloomy day. We escaped the torrential rain yesterday, having endured only showers. But beneath the veil of my own rainbow, after writing this post, I'll be making some tea and will then resume editing.

Someone asked me what it was like to be editing a manuscript. Well, apart from enjoying it because of the reading element and I do lose myself in the narrative, it's a bit like checking through your college/university dissertation - pages and pages to sift through for grammar, spelling, pace etc. It always reminds me of my university assignment deadlines. Thank goodness I have no set deadline anymore - only the one I made. It is laborious and I sometimes wonder if it's the toughest part of writing a book. I'll let you know once I'm completely finished. Wishing everyone a good writing week.