This writing business is a tough gig. Either there's the traditional route that can take years, if ever, to break into and do well with. Or there's the indie route, which let's face it, there are so many authors out there, you have to hope at some point your writing is noticed (usually via some aggressive marketing or advertising...or luck) among all the others.
As writers, we seek validation. And the only validation we have are sales and reviews. When you're first starting out on a path, you don't have much of either of these, which makes things even harder. And makes for a great place for doubts to fester.
That's pretty much where I'm at right now. The doubts are throwing a rave in my brain.
I know I was born to write. The stories in my head have driven me as far back as I can remember. I'll never, ever stop writing, no matter what. That's not the doubt here. No. The doubt is that sore that I can't seem to stop poking at wondering if I'm a good enough writer. If I'm good enough to make any traction in the publishing world, to find readers who love my characters and worlds as much as I do.
And right now, I really don't have the validation that I am good enough. Sales of the short stories haven't been the best. Yes, I know short stories are hard sells, but I'm starting to second guess myself. Should I even be publishing any of these stories? Are they good enough? Should I have approached the stories a different way than I did?
Newsletter sign-ups are non-existent. The one story that has sold the most hasn't gained any reviews on Amazon. And I feel like I'm in the middle of the ocean where my legs have just frozen up so I can no longer tread water.
I also started edits on Mind Behind the Mind this week. It's been a while since I looked at the novel, and I was quite pleased with what I saw. But then those stinkin' doubts crept in. I may think it's good, but will anyone else? Will I successfully be able to make the following two novels in the series as good as this one? Same voice, character quirks, consistency?
I wish I could find a vat of acid to throw all of my doubts in. That would be lovely to have peace at last, but that's likely never going to happen. I am a worrier by nature. It's a hard mindset to change.
Of course, I'm going to keep plowing ahead. I want to share the stories in my head with other people, and I'm hoping I can find an audience for my stories, even if the doubts still pipe up at the most inopportune times.
I also have to remember I'm not perfect. Not everyone will like what I write. But I truly hope I can find my readers somewhere out there one day. Doubt be damned.