Thursday, March 11, 2010

"I Am Suck"

It’s a terrible phase.

I struggled with a manuscript, wrote in a vacuum and finally got to the words, THE END. I read it from start to finish and thought it was okay. I sent it off and didn’t look at it for almost two weeks. And then finally, I had the courage to read it again.

Oh no. It’s crap. It needs a lot of work. It doesn’t make sense. Who is going to get this? Why would anyone be interested? This is just far-fetched and unbelievable. The whole thing has just been one big waste of time.

It’s a terrible phase.

My friend, Robin, a wonderful and talented author/performer/recording artist, once told me it’s called the “I am suck” phase, and many artists/writers go through it. I went through it with the last two novels I wrote and each time, it led me to massive editing and rewriting. Back then I had it in me. Now? I’m not sure. For right now, it’s led me to a sleepless night.

It’s a terrible phase.

In her first book, Piano Girl, A Memoir, Robin illustrates this so-called phase as an ongoing voice in her head called “the voice of doom.” She overpowers the voice with hard work and determination. The fact that she’s extremely talented also gives her power over the voice, and she ultimately succeeds again and again. I wish I had that kind of resolve. But frankly, I’m tired.

It’s a terrible phase.

Perhaps when it comes back from the editor and a few chosen readers, there will be some helpful suggestions—at least some guidance to help get me into the phase of once again feeling good about the work. Because right now the mantra in my head is only telling me, “I am suck.”

1 comment:

Ann Elle Altman said...

I've been there. Don't give up though. Your book isn't suppose to be perfect the first go round. It needs editing or else you will make the rest of us writers look bad.