On Never Enough Syndrome

Photo credit: Raban Haaijk http://haaijk.prosite.com/ on Flickr

It’s been a weird couple of months in my writer brain, lately.

As I’ve mentioned before, last year was the Year of Revisions for me—I spent my months heavily revising two manuscripts, ended up putting one aside and am full-steam ahead with the other and hoping it may one day be a Thing I can share. But last year was also the first year in a long time that I didn’t write a new manuscript, and that was kind of rough, in it’s own way.

Because even though, word-count-wise, I probably wrote enough during those revisions to equal up to a new MS anyway (did I mention how extensive the revisions were?), I still finished the year feeling like I’d failed, somehow, because I hadn’t written a new project.

Probably what compounded the issue was I’d wanted to write something in November, but my chronic illness disagreed and I ended up needing the time I would’ve been NaNoing to rest, instead. And even though I knew very well about the importance of rest (and hey, I’ve even vlogged about how important it is!), it didn’t stop me from entering 2016 from feeling kind of gross about it. Which is silly because I knew I’d progressed (revisions! were awesome!) but, you know, writer brains.

Combine this with experiencing my very first List Season, which even with the preparation of other authors talking about how List Season is tough and ultimately doesn’t mean much, even with the expectation of being left off a bunch of “upcoming” lists, I entered a kind of weird brain space.

The truth is, writers deal with a weird blend of imposter syndrome, the comparison game, and this pervading sense of standing still even when you’re progressing. This sense of you’re not doing enough spreads into so many aspects of the writer life, whether it’s drafting (you’re not writing enough), marketing (you’re not marketing enough), or stuff totally out of your control (you’re not on enough lists, you’re not getting reviewed enough, etc. etc. etc.).

I know, from listening to many other writers talk about this—writers who have been doing the career writer thing for wayyyyyy longer than I have—that this feeling never really goes away. And honestly, there isn’t really a lesson here at the end of this post, but you guys asked me to talk about the becoming a published writer thing, and this is a thing that is happening a lot lately, so here I am.

It’s a common thing for writers. And it’s not an easy thing. But I guess it helps knowing I am so not alone with this, and the best I can do is to just keep moving forward and try to focus on the really awesome things coming up, like my hardcover book in my hand (soon!), and my hardcover book possibly in many of yours. 

And even when my brain tries to convince me otherwise, that alone is a really incredible thing. :)

What cool writer things have you guys been doing lately?

Twitter-sized bite:
On the writer reality of never feeling like you're doing enough. (Click to tweet

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