Dr. Strangewrite: How I learned to Stop Worrying about the Publishing Process

Posted: April 5, 2010 in Uncategorized, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hullo there.

Er, sorry for not blogging last week.  I’ve been polishing up my new project. I’d tell you about it, but I’d have to shush you. Permanently.

Anyhoo, let’s see a show of hands. How many of you writers out there have doubts about your writing? How many of you wake up everyday knowing you’re a genius scribbler?


My friends sometimes give me a hard time about this, but I must confess: Aside from Scarlet Whisper, Librarian/Rock Star/International Jewel Thief,  I also have ANOTHER alter ego. Yes, I am the (not so super) hero known as UNCERTAIN GIRL.

Uncertain Girl has one ridiculous ability, the Paralyzing Power of Indecision. Twenty times a day, Uncertain Girl changes how she feels about her own writing. One minute, she’s onto something good. The next, she doubts she can string a first rate sentence together.

Uncertain Girl has never had a day in which she felt totally, completely, utterly brilliant about a WIP.

Is that a bad thing?

According to Nathan Bransford (one of the galaxy’s most kindly and crazy cool agents), it’s okay to be uncertain. Here’s why.

See? I don’t have to think I’m awesome. I just have to be passionate, committed,  and ready to grow as a writer.

I’m happy to be imperfect me. I’m (maybe) good enough. I’m (probably) smart enough. And doggone it, (some) people like me!

I’m enjoying this unpredictable up and down journey. How about you? Please don’t leave me hanging. I’d love to know how you feel about uncertainty.

Hungry for more?

If you’re feeling anxious, try working out your issues by making these Aggression Cookies. Stress was never so yummy!

  1. ChristaCarol says:

    Ok, first, I LOVE HEY JUDE. By far my favorite from those snazzy rock stars. Secondly, yes, uncertainty, I think, is one of those traits that’s common for writers. Even published writers. There are times I wake up thinking my stuff is brilliant. Then there are times I wake up thinking “Holy crap, what am I thinking?!” So yeah, even with writers who have the constant anthem of “I’m awesome.” and say they don’t question their work. Oh, they do, they do. Even if they don’t know they’re doing it, they do. Way down deep in their subconscious. 😉

    Personally, I hate the up and down journey. Makes me feel bipolar!

    • jmartinlibrarian says:

      I hear you. I think there’s room for a whole spectrum of feelings about the writing journey. It’s good to know I’m not alone in my angst. Many times, I’m envious of the confidence of other writers. Now, I’ve made peace with my own up and downs.

      Viva la Helter Skelter!

      We all have to find our way. It’s good we have each other to lean on!

  2. YES, I definitely know Uncertain Girl, haha. I’ll be really excited about an idea and the writing and then when I’m finished I think I must be freaking crazy to think this could’ve been good. Then I’ll like it again. Then I won’t. The indecision goes on and on! Finally i just have to let it go and hope that with each bad thing I write, I MUST be getting better. (Right?!?)

    Have a good day and cheers to feeling certain in your writing journey…at least for today 😉

  3. For me its a see saw of ups and downs. I’ll go through phases of self confidence (usually when an agent has shown interest in my manuscript) followed by phases of self doubt and despair (usually after I’ve recieved a rejection from said agent)
    But when those times come around, I usually take a step back- work on something new or concentrate on critiquing projects for my critics group. And then look at everything again with some renewed hope. I think I’m a good writer and I’ve got a good story. But ofcourse, there is always room for improvement and I think a certain amount of self doubt is necessary in order to make progress.

    • jmartinlibrarian says:

      I think you and I must share a brain, because that’s exactly how I feel these days! It’s not that I think I stink, it’s just that I have DOUBTS from day to day.

  4. Jemi Fraser says:

    Love Hey Jude – did you watch American Idol tonight – all Lennon/McCartney songs 🙂

    I’m never sure about my writing. I get absolutely terrified and overwhelmed when I think about the big publishing world – even querying sends me into panic attacks. Well, not quite, but you know what I mean. I cope by not thinking about it. I try to only work on the next thing, and not look ahead. That way I don’t waste time shaking with fear 🙂

  5. jmartinlibrarian says:

    Good point, Jemi. One step at a time. If we just take things as they come, it’s a little less daunting, perhaps.

    One of these days, we’ll twitter toast each others’ success.

  6. Agression cookies rock. As does JMartin’s writing…I hear good things come for those who work hard and these cookies are definitely worth the work. I’m sure that if Uncertain Girl can work hard, she’ll get confirmation of her abilities. Hopefully that happens soon, because, if Uncertain Girl is anything like me, she also has another alter ego: Impatient Lady.

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