I was recently chatting over Twitter with The Distracted Writer about this.
I think that as writers we’re often the worst judges of our writing. After reading and editing the same piece of work a dozen or so times, it can get tough to determine what’s good or bad, and insecurity can creep in.
I’ve stumbled across so many other writers struggling with the same insecurities, and you know, it’s a relief to know these worries are pretty normal.
I love this graph by Maureen McHugh (who’s written many novels and knows so much more than I do). I think it illustrates the writing process brilliantly.
Because it’s a little hard to read I’ve typed out the stages of the process here:
- This is the greatest idea I’ve ever had.
- Okay, it’s harder than I thought, but still good.
- This is going to take some work.
- This sucks and it’s boring.
- (Dark night of the soul)
- It would be good to finish it because I will learn for the next novel.
- Hey, I can at least finish this suckfest in just another 10,000 words.
- It’s done and it sucks but it’s not as bad as I thought.
When I’m having a rough time writing a story, I wonder if I’ve finally reached the dark night of the soul. It’s only up from there right?