Tuesday, October 4, 2016
IWSG: Is it Ready?
On the first Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group encourages writers to talk about their insecurities. (And I don't know why Blogger isn't posting these on schedule like I tell it to!)
For me, the answer is very simple: When I don't hate it anymore.
I'm very critical of myself. Everything I do is terrible, or at least less good than it should be. This is not a healthy way to go about life by any means, but I've been like this as long as I can remember, and don't expect it to go away anytime soon.
It's helpful - or at least less harmful - in real life, where results are cut and dry. That picture is crooked and I won't give up until it's straight. My estimation was off, so I'll do the calculations and get it exact.
But writing is an art. It's subjective, with no clear right or wrong.
And yet I hate every word I write.
And I do mean hate. When I read something I've written, I cringe at phrases I thought were clever once. I find every fault in every character and I imagine all the dialogue being spoken in really cheesy, overly dramatic ways.
The thought of letting someone read it at this point physically makes me feel ill, and usually around now I start wondering why I even bother writing since I can't come up with a plot that I didn't steal from some TV show or video game (if you read my Notes from the Editing Room posts, you can generally gauge how unedited the writing is by how many bad things I say about myself: first draft is "you're so stupid; you think you're so clever BUT THIS CHARACTER IS SO OBVIOUSLY BASED ON HAN SOLO!" whereas the final drafts are more along the lines of "aw, you're such a dork.")
So I edit. I change or fix everything that makes me feel bad feelings about myself. And then I do it again. If I'm lucky, some of them become things that make me feel good feelings about myself, but as long as the bad feelings are gone, I know it must be okay. Not perfect, but good enough that I feel confident letting people read it.