A week ago, as I struggled with conceiving my TV show pilot for class, I thought I just couldn’t write well enough to pull it off. Then, after I had finished it, I thought my writing was the shit. Now that the class has workshopped it, I doubt my ability to write, and I want to completely redo it.
In two weeks, when I go back to it to rewrite for the next workshop, I’ll decide that it’s actually pretty darn good as it is, and I only need to make a couple changes.
The same thing happened with Flip City. When I wrote it, I thought it was great. Then I sent it in to the publisher for review, and while waiting realized that it was crap. Then it was accepted (and heavily edited) and published and I was back to loving it, forcing it on everyone I knew. Now (perhaps partially due to some harsh reviews that I know I should ignore) it embarrasses me. I don’t think I could read it now — certainly not without cringing and wishing I could redo it.
I think The Nexus is pretty good, but I worry about a lot of it. Did I succeed at what I intended? And will any publisher deign to contract me for three books?
I go through these phases, all the time, with all of my writing. One week, one day, I’ll think my work is just spectacular, and yeah maybe it could use some minor editing, but overall how could any publisher turn it down? The next week, the next day, I’ll be despairing that I’ll ever get anything of worth published because everything I do is crap.
I guess it’s good that it happens. The lows remind me that I still need to work hard to succeed at this, that I need to push myself and improve and strive to be better. But they also make me extremely unproductive. The highs help me get a lot of work done — but I get too comfortable with my writing, and don’t take a critical eye to it.
By oscillating in my emotions, I get multiple views, and hopefully I can come to a balance. But that balance is not easy to get, and the emotional rollercoaster can sometimes be a little much. Every turn breaks me down a little, so I have to build myself back up. Will it eventually break me down too much? Or will I rise above it?
The only option is to keep going. Keep trying. Keep fighting. One day it will pay off.