I’ve finished my fourth novel, MURDER IN CYPRUS HOLLOW, and it’s available for purchase. Ah, now for basking in the warm glow of achievement. I puff a sigh of relief, get comfy on my laurels, and then set my sights on the next book. Right?
Wrong! Not happening, partner. For some reason only the sun, moon and stars know, I can’t. Once again I seem to have fallen into the depths of that pit of doubt: the story isn’t good; the title isn’t ‘catchy’; the opening won’t grab the reader’s attention; people won’t like it. . . I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve. Blah, blah, blah! Yada, yada, yada.
What do I do now? I take a few moments to regroup. I know the book is finished, and done to the best of my ability. People have read and truly enjoyed the other three novels. So why is it that each novel haunts me?
Part of my regrouping process is reading the posts of other authors. I’m glad I do because I learned most other authors go through the same emotions. Even painters go through this. It’s like a ritual. So, what should I call this ritual? Writer’s remorse? That overwhelming sensation of doubt after finishing a project we desired and slaved over for a long period of time. That’s what it feels like.
Years ago, when I first started writing novels, I thought when I finished one I’d say, “Good. You’re done. Now, on to the next one.” That hasn’t happened yet. Well, I also learned by reading other author’s blogs that the ‘I can’t let it go’ feeling also is perfectly normal. It’s like withdrawal.
So, I go through the withdrawal and eventually move on. Obviously! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have four novels written and waiting to be purchased. I just don’t like feeling crippled when I should feel ecstatic. Quit complaining, right?
The solution to this writer’s dilemma? Deal with it! I have too much work to do to wallow in my anxiety. Now, on to book five.
What about you? Have you experienced writer’s remorse? If so, please share your experience and what you do to get yourself back to work.