Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The moment of absolute certainty ...

There is always a point in the life of a book when I wonder, what was I thinking, and, everyone is going to hate this. Usually it happens after everything is signed off - words, design, cover, and artwork if it's a picture book. The file has gone off to the printers and we all smiled as we waved goodbye to all that promise. Time passed. And then I am sure - this is the worst book I ever wrote. Every time. It happens every time. And while some small rational part of me knows that this is a normal part of the life-cycle of a new book I feel it just the same. What was I thinking. I shouldn't have eaten all those fruit loops - too much sugar!!! Or stayed up so late, or slept in that long. I should have done this, that or the other instead of what I actually did. Any other intelligent being would have seen that. So obvious. Gah.

Folks, the moment of absolute certainty never arrives. It is a rude and unfeeling fleeting entity that teases you with it's possibility and then stays just out of reach, just like the fastest kid in school in bull-rush. And doubting yourself and your work is a normal part of being creative. You are pulling things out of your own imagination and rinsing them through your rational brain and then giving it to the rest of the world and praying they like it enough to want to part with money to own a copy of it. Yikes - I think that just made me feel worse.

Anyway ... If you are doubting yourself and your work - you are NORMAL. If you feel uncertain, that is how certainty works. If you aren't sure you've got everything perfect in your manuscript, don't worry. It will never be perfect to everyone's satisfaction. Most of all your own.

For myself, I always end up remembering why I wrote the story in the first place and how good I felt about it when I first sent it off. And I always fall in love again.

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