Sunday, June 08, 2008

More self-doubt and wads of paper.

I'm 50 pages into the novel and self-doubt is starting to creep in again. It always amazes me how my opinion of my own work can lurch so wildly. I am pushing on with the story as it is unfolding, and not worrying too much about the quality. I just need to get out on to paper what I have in my head and then have another look at it. I keep having this fear that I'm going to finish the novel and that I won't like it, will say to myself, No, that's not what I meant, at all. But of course, if that's true, and I don't like it, I just have to keep working at it until I do. I have a self-imposed deadline to finish the book by the end of my residency (February 2009), but of course, it's much better to have a finished product that's good than one that's so-so and On Time.

It also amazes me how I can be so firmly immersed in the world of the novel one week, and the next just skirting around the outside of it, trying to find a way in. When you're in it, you can't imagine ever stepping outside of it; you think you're invincible. Then one day you wake up and the feeling's gone. Not the first time I've compared writing a novel to being in a relationship.

On the upside, 50 pages makes a very pleasing wad of paper. I always print out what I have done at the end of every day, partly as a back-up and partly for the satisfaction of seeing it grow. It now looks like a pile that means business, so for that I am happy.

3 comments:

maggie@at-the-bay.com said...

It's as if you have played the tune in my head, or hit the exact note of my morning. Having spent a weekend celebrating a special family birthday, I have struggled to re-enter my novel today. Once inside the novel, as you say, a feeling of invicibility can occur to propel you forward... oh, but how harsh it can be to read the words you thought you wrote...

Gondal-girl said...

I relate Rachael - just showing up is my mantra - I only write a small amount everyday, but actually think about it heaps. That, and leaving the critic at the door.

Sometimes I have thought some of my stuff has been terrible and was about to cut, when someone has read it and said it was the best thing. Give the old Stabler and Waldorf the old 'Hiiiii-yahhhhh' ( ala Miss Piggy) - excuse the Muppet show reference....

Creative A said...

I'm there. My family looks at all my undulation and thinks I'm nuts :p

The past week or so I've been hit with the blues pretty bad...I always go and collect all the nice things people have said about my writing, read them over, and try to ride that wave of enthusiasm back into my story. At least it helps with the blues.