I learned an important lesson the other day.
As many of you may know, I’d been struggling with my current work in progress. My plan for the novel was to write it a little differently than my other two books, so naturally I was a bit worried. Self-doubt caused me to start over from the beginning twice and let me tell you, each time I rewrote the draft, I was even more unhappy than I was with the previous copy. In the end, I realized that my first draft was indeed the best and that nothing was really wrong with it. In fact, I liked how it had turned out.
As writers, we all half self-doubt. Is our work good enough? Is it something people will want to read? Will it get decent reviews? Are we talented enough to pull this off? All of these questions enter our minds as we write our hearts out. There is nothing wrong with wanting to put our best foot forward, but sometimes we overthink our writing so much, that we end up digging our own holes. The deeper we dig, the harder it is to get ourselves out.
I decided that I needed to let things go. I decided that the more I nitpicked at every single sentence I wrote, the worse things were going to get. You know what? I was right. I read over my original draft and really liked it. I was almost upset that I wasted my time doubting myself. Instead of obsessing over whether or not my writing was good enough, I could have been working on my original draft. Sometimes we just need to step back and trust our instincts. I realized that I’m a good writer and although I’m not perfect, I should allow myself to write without thinking too much about what I’m putting down on paper. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t care, but we shouldn’t convince ourselves that we’re not talented, when in reality, just the opposite is true!