Writing is hard. There are moments when you get sudden sparks of inspiration only for it to fizzle just as quickly. I’ve been slowly undergoing a rediscovery for my writing and feeding my creativity by doing things that will help me create the worlds and characters I’m currently writing about for my long-time, in-the-works fantasy novel. Because the urge to tap back into this side of writing has been strong for me lately, it was a good time as any to go back and read what I did write so far before taking a hiatus (2017 to be exact). What I discovered was maybe what I was writing wasn’t all that bad as I thought it was.
I suppose it goes without saying that all writers will be critical of their own work. I’m pretty sure all authors whose books have ended up on The New York Times bestsellers list have thought the same way about their novels. We worry and doubt unnecessarily when what we really should be doing is trust in ourselves and our creative process. And if you aren’t too reluctant to let other people read your work, they can be a good source of feedback. The way I see it, if your friends and family haven’t told you in a nice way that your work in progress is complete garbage, then maybe you’re onto something.
Although I have stepped away from my novel longer than I should have, especially if I’m really trying to get serious about finishing this manuscript at some point during my lifetime, it’s also good to give yourself some space from it. You can be knee deep into something and may not always have the perspective or insight to feel like you’re on the right path. By unintentionally creating some distance from my work, I was pleasantly surprised by what I have produced so far.
This renewal for my writing, which I hope will continue as time goes on, has only been made stronger by what I’ve read of my story so far. I know there will still be plenty of work to be done once I get to the editing phase, but knowing that what I have at the moment is good enough has been immensely encouraging.
Have you ever worked on something where you said to yourself, “This may not actually be terrible?” Did it inspire you to keep going?