One thing I’ve noticed about being a writer (and from my interactions with lots of other writers it appears many of them have this same problem) is that I tend to live in Contradictoryland.
While dwelling in the land of contradiction, where it is both amazing and horrible at the same time, I go through periods where I love what I’ve written and feel that its going well. On the other side of that is where I feel everything I write is crap and should be deleted. That bottom valley of writing despair is where I am now. It can make it hard to get into my writing. The logical part of my brain knows that it isn’t really that bad and doesn’t need to be deleted, but that pesky part that isn’t logical won’t shut up.
I of course will not delete it because I know that after I’m done, I will reread it all and it won’t be as bad as the critic part of me thinks it is right now. In fact it will be better than “not bad” Oh yes, it will still need work but my inner critic is being particularly snarky and trollish right now and is delighting in tearing down my writerly brain even as my writerly self looks at what’s written and thinks, “It isn’t that bad.” It’s a strange thing to both love and loath something at the same time. It’s a contradiction.
And so the name Contradictoryland where the stewards will be thrilled to show you the way to the Happy Castle of Keyboards, the Pits of Writerly Doom, Flowing Street, Writers Block, the Bouncy Room of Perfect Paragraphs, the Shattered Ruins of Deleted Scenes, the Highway of Inspiration, and Treachery Towers (where your muse turns against you).
Once of course you’ve made it through Contradictoryland and finally have a MS you are happy with, you then get to enter the murky waters of getting it out there, which includes sailing across the seven seas of Introvert Hell (FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Linkedin, Goodreads, and the ever scary, in person meetings) so that you can reach the islands of Mangled Marketing. That however is a whole other journey fraught with its own set of contradictions where you hope for reviews and at the same time are terrified of getting them, where you hope to get an interview on a blog and then can’t think of anything to say when they send you the questions, and so on and so forth.
Those of us who write, definitely do so because we love it and we need to. The chances of striking it rich are small. If you’re lucky, you will make enough to pay some bills. But we do it because we can’t imagine not. And maybe because we all walked the edge of sanity to some degree. After all, who in their right mind would intentionally walk a path with so many emotional pitfalls with so little promise of reward at the end other than the satisfaction of seeing your book in print?