Overcoming the "My Book is Crap" Syndrome
If you've written more than one book, you might have become aware of a pattern. Even if you don't see it yourself, your friends and family will surely notice. They'll hear you ranting how you latest book is pure crap, it's more difficult than any of the others you've written, and you'll never be able to sell it. They've probably given up on trying to reassure you, and that's just as well because you'll never believe them anyway. But here's the cold, hard truth. Those are just your writer's insecurities coming out, and you shouldn't take them seriously. But how can you possibly do that if you can't trust your own instincts?
Easy. Write yourself a letter. When those feelings begin to nag at you, sit down and start a document listing everything you remember about writing your last book. Jot down any worries you had and how things turned out in the end. Include details about how you're currently feeling. Now title the document "Read This Before Starting Your Next Book" and file it away. When you finish the project, be sure to go back and add an update about how your fears played out. Note when things got better and what seemed to help improve your attitude. It's common for writers to have doubts while muddling though a first draft, even if they use an outline. But those doubts usually don't amount to much in the grand scheme of things (unless you're one of those types who never finish a project. If so, never mind).
When you begin a new project and feel the stress welling up, open that document and take a look. Other people's words of reassurance are easy to blow off, but looking at your own experiences is a whole different thing.
- Lisa Nowak
THE CRYSTAL RIBBON through February 18th
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Kristy Hunter, Wednesday, March 22nd