Two weeks ago, my therapist started off our weekly session as she always does, by asking me how I'm doing. I said, "Mercurial," and she gave me a funny look and said I'd responded like that before.
For the record, funny looks from my therapist are nothing new. But still. It's started to hit me recently, with everything that's going on in my life and with my work, that this incredible back-and-forth in how I'm feeling about my writing might actually be the natural state for a writer. Sometimes I can handle everything I need to, and when the work isn't going well, I can step away and figure it out later. Sometimes a single thing doesn't work and it ruins me for the night, and I hate myself and everything I've ever done and hiding inside an enormous book fort for the rest of my life sounds like a great idea.
Looking back, I don't know if there's ever been a time when I wasn't all kinds of back-and-forth about how good of a writer I was, or if I was... going to....
Wait. I just realized. There was a time when I was always confident in my writing, certain that everyone would love my work and I'd get published right away and my first epic fantasy trilogy would be on every bestseller list ever. It was when I was writing my first three books. And you know what? Every single one of those books was bad.
It took those three tries to make me realize this was going to be harder than I thought. And as appropriate for IWSG, I've been insecure and questioning about this whole thing ever since. Spending way too long trying to write short stories only made it worse, as I did well with those maybe once. Going back to novels only made the rollercoaster's ups and downs more dramatic, as it was (and still is) a lot of investing in one big story with no way to know if it's going to work out or not.
All of my books so far have been in the "or not" category, which is what leads me to posts like last month's IWSG, where I talked about quitting it all. It's easy to think the ups and downs aren't worth it. But this is the way this particular ride goes, and I'm still on it.
And if it leads to a writer whose work I enjoy and whom I personally respect using me as an example of how you win? I must be doing something right.This, right here, is how you win. It took me 15 years to sell my first book. https://t.co/4EqgiU5KKN— Myke Cole (@MykeCole) April 3, 2017