No one tells you this when you first start a novel, but writing is hard. It’s even hard when it’s your fifth go around finishing one. Every negative thought that you ever thought about yourself will, invariable, bubble back up to the surface. Every line you loved will seem trite and phony. Every plot twist will have been done a million times. And you will wonder why you ever thought you could do this thing called “writing.”
From what I’ve read from published authors on the subject, that doesn’t go away. Ever. I’m sure there’s a similar process that any artist goes through. This is the torture of a “tortured” artist. It’s not from critics or bad Amazon reviews, it’s from within. And it sucks.
There are days when I believe I can do anything, that I can write brilliantly. There are days when I feel like a real artist, like I matter and will be remembered, that I will fight the good fight no matter what. And then there are days like today where I doubt, where I think, “I can’t.”
The task is too great. I am too weak, too unworthy. Why do I dare to reach to greater heights when I know I will only fall in the end?
And then I write these feelings down, confine them to paper or screen, anything that is not inside of me. And instead of feeling small, I look at the words, and they are small, not me.
Some people tame demons with drugs or booze. Some cut or bleed them out. Some run. Some hide. Me, I write.