Friday, December 29, 2006

Self-doubt, writing, editing and subbing

I am a conundrum. A paradox. I vacillate between having more than the normal amount of confidence and being unable to make a single decision without second guessing it.

What this translates to is someone who writes confidently, edits with no confidence at all in her changes, subs completely convinced that her work is worth every penny the market is offering, and then spends the intervening month(s) wishing she'd sent the piece to a more attainable market. When/if the pink slip/acceptance comes, I am validated either way. Not so much a "glass is half-empty" sort as a "Did I put enough in? Why in the hell didn't I just fill it up? They're going to think I'm too cheap . . . But if I filled it up--I'd just look like a show-off . . ." sort.

I suspect most people are like this to one degree or another and those who swear they are always sure of themselves and confident that they made the right decision are lying. If you know otherwise, just shut up. It's my illusion and it gets me through the day.

What brings this all on tonight? I'm about to sub Sing to a pro-market with a long turn-around (as in mailing it out tomorrow). It's a good story--one of the best short sci-fi genre stories I've written to date. It's already been pink-slipped once, but it was about the time that another story was accepted by a semi-pro magazine (tah-dah!). Sing is substantially better than that one so I've decided to take the gamble and attempt a move into a higher market (better pay/more competition/more recognition) So naturally, I'm suffering from fear of heights. It won't stop me, but it I may need to "pretend I'm on a bus" like I do when I'm on real-life air planes. (Wanna know a secret? Why I'm afraid? Because I want to jump . . .)

Also, I am almost done with the first draft of "Troubled_Waters"--sorta--I still have to write in the villain's POV. My plan was to see if the story even needed this element and as I near the end--as entertaining as the story is, I think it will need the extra push. Plus there will be some questions both asked and answered by the villain that aren't being addressed by the MC. I feel much better about this book than I did about Witness Tree. For one thing, It won't require as much editing as WT did (still does) to be market worthy.

This means that this time I've got a lot more to think about. I've already written the synopsis--which means that I'm not far from having the first query letter written. Which means--well . . . a lot of things . . . I am moving from liking the idea of being a writer to someone who would like to make at least a supplemental income from it.

Oh. And I'm thinking about quitting my job . . . No pressure there . . .


Anonymous said...

I'll take (and gladly pay for, of course) an autographed copy of Sing when it's published - you want US or Aussie dollars on the cheque?

Scotty (sci-fi lover)

Laura said...

Somehow I'm not looking forward to my life as a writer quite as much as I was. Take it easy, eh? xxx

Mary O. Paddock said...

Scotty--when Sing sells--I'll let you know. Your confidence is inpsiring.

Mary O. Paddock said...

My bet is that you can do this without agonizing the way I do. And you can probably do it better.