Jody Hedlund (published Christian author, though not really my genre) posted today about A Writer's Number One Enemy.
What does she think it is?
Ourselves. More specifically, our tendency to discourage ourselves.
I concur with this. I am way more dubious about publishing and my own writing ability then, say, my family, my peers, my readers, and the random people that find out that I write and immediately ask: "are you published?"
As perhaps the fact that I'm reading Jody's blog suggests, I'm keeping up pretty regularly with the publishing industry, with the agent blog I've been following regularly for a long time now (Rachelle Gardner) and a few of her clients. That along with the air-castle squashing lesson from Mr.S. all those years ago has given me a more realistic and depressing outlook on publishing than your average person or young writer.
Combine that with the fact that I don't know how to edit Forest of Lies to save my life and it took me two years to get to my next story (never mind how much I love Quintessence) make me doubt my own abilities.
Which is just and right.
But you know what?
Forest of Lies went up on the OYAN website around two years ago. I still get personal messages from people who read it. I got one today. And it just kind of puts me in awe.
Because, there's so much that I still see as "wrong" with that draft. It's the stinkin' one I've been attempting to edit for the last two years without success. It leans too heavily on dialogue. It doesn't have the improved chapter 7 ending (the one thing I've edited to my satisfaction). The formation and characters of Robin's band don't really make sense. Alan appears and disappears because I, frankly, forgot about him. Jacqueline shows up randomly. The Sheriff is too obviously evil from the get-go and most of my readers admit to wanting to smack my heroine with a 2x4 often while reading what she does.
I have so much to fix on the story side. So many things I'm unsatisfied with.
These messages. It's sobering. Humbling. It's "Hey Nai. I've got this." from God. Sure, I poured my heart into this story and these characters, raw, bleeding, longing, and I think people can sense that. But if it was just me in this story, it couldn't end like it does. The Truth. The Love. The Beauty. The Hope. The Light.
Let me tell you something.
I'm not the Truth. I don't demonstrate sacrificial Love--the REAL Love--every day of my life. I am not Beautiful. And without God-given Light, I would be without a Hope.
Maybe Forest of Lies has done its work and will continue to do its work in the unfinished, unpolished state it is in right now. Maybe it's most powerful that way. Or maybe the polishing time is coming.
But whatever it is, God's got this.
May I just say...what a relief.
Not only can I not do this on my own, I don't have to.
God's got this.