Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty

doubt smallest

So, I’m in this phase of waiting. I’m querying my novel, waiting for agents to get back to me. Perhaps the news will be good, perhaps not. I’m furiously refreshing my inbox, driving myself and everyone around me crazy. And I have doubts. So. Many. Doubts. Is the book any good? Are the agents insulted that I’ve even sent it to them? Should I be wasting my time on this writing thing at all?

I’ve also been listening to Sara Zarr’s podcast, This Creative Life. She interviews authors about their writing processes and their writing lives. What has struck me is that every one of them sounds exactly like me: Am I any good? Have I made this book as good as I can? Will anyone want to read it? Even the ones with multiple best sellers! Awards! Movie deals! On the one hand, this is completely exasperating. Even you, with all of your accolades, aren’t certain that you are a good writer? Will these doubts never end?

On the other hand, though, I find this oddly comforting. If these doubts aren’t ever going away, then I guess I’d better get comfortable with them. Right now, my questions are about agents. Some day, if I’m lucky, they will be about editors, and then readers and critics. The doubts aren’t unique to me or the phase I’m in. They are endemic to writers, and probably to all artists. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The doubt pushes us to work harder, aim higher. I may as well befriend the doubt, use it as fuel, because I don’t think it’s going away.

 

 

*art credit to cristinaureta via pixabay

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