is it ever good enough?

My editor and I have been having a discussion lately about the release date for Demon Heart. I wrote her a few weeks back brimming with insecurity and wondering if we should still push for a May release. She wrote back and told me that she was fine with a delay, just to let her know ASAP what I wanted to do, so that Lyrical could arrange their ‘new release’ schedule, accordingly. (BTW…is that not the most accommodating thing you have ever heard of? Lyrical rocks!)

Anyway, I have spent most of the past two weeks wallowing in a pool of indecision. Demon Heart is my first release, and all of a sudden I am plagued by doubt. I still love the story…but I agonize over every turn of phrase, every questionable quotation mark. Is it good enough? Am I going to get ripped by the reviewers? Does the love scene sound silly instead of sexy? Can people even bend that way?

I have spent many, many nights lying awake, lately, lost in doubt. FINALLY, after much soul searching, I decided to trust in my publisher…they bought the story because they loved it. The rejection rate for e-pubbing is 97%. Demon Heart made the cut. It is worthy. PLUS my editor is fantastic. She has a keen eye and she is STRICT! If Camila thinks DH is good to go, then it is. Period. She would never put me out there unless she truly thinks I am ready. She would never risk her rep, nor Lyrical’s, if the story was not ‘ready for prime time’.

So, my major emotional crisis is over (for now), but what I would like to know is this…are other writers are plagued by similar insecurities? I am all the time hearing about writers who think their words are golden…am I the only one that scowls when I look at the screen after a hard day of writing? How big of a part does ego play in this game, and how sure of yourselves are you? Am I the only quaking rabbit in our midst…or are their more of me, out there? Just wondering. It is a hard, hard thing, I am discovering, to put yourself out there.

And to think…I used to believe that selling the book was the hardest part of the publishing gig. HA!

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9 thoughts on “is it ever good enough?

  1. Some of us are so critical of our own work that we can’t make ourselves submit!! I’m very happy for you about Demon Heart and your May release. Can’t wait for the booksigning… spw

  2. I agree with Sandee.
    Yes, I was frozen for years over self-doubt. I couldn’t even submit! I work daily on the self doubt. Writing is the only cure.
    BTW: Not everyone is going to like your book–that happens to the mega best sellers, so you’re going to be in a good crowd.
    BUT, when you get that first fan letter or email, or hear that “I really loved your book, when is the next one coming out,” all the self doubt and struggle becomes worth it.
    You’re right that DH wouldn’t have sold if the writing and story wasn’t good!!
    WOOT!!! πŸ™‚

  3. Count me in with the bunnies. A very well-known agent told me years ago that writers are the most confident people she’d ever met . . . and also the most insecure people she’d ever met. That’s us in a nutshell. You have to believe you’ve got talent in order to send something out, but what you’re sending out is so personal and intimate, so much a part of you, that you can’t really believe others will love it as much as you do. That’s just natural.

    I’ve met lots of people over the years who think their words are golden, and I’ve got to say, most of them, if they get that first sale, never see the third or the fifth unless they undergo a huge attitude adjustment.

    Years ago I spoke to a group of writers about the revisions process my first Bantam editor repeatedly put me through and how tough it was because I’d never really done revisions before. After the talk, an author came up to me and very smugly said, “I wrote two books for that editor, and . . . gee, I hate to tell you this, but . . . she didn’t change A SINGLE WORD.” This was accompanied by a condescending smile. “I guess she thought MY books were perfect the way they were.” Implying, of course, that mine weren’t.

    The thing is, I had just TALKED to this editor about why I was doing a lot of revision and another author she was editing was getting away with the same kind of stuff I was having to change. And she was very blunt about it: she pushed me because she knew I could do better, and she let the other author slide because this was the best it got. Her books were good, but would never be great, and the editor wanted to spend her time on books that could be great.

    BTW, Smug Author never sold another book after those two. Which made me feel pretty smug in my pettier moments.

  4. Of course it’s good enough and you’re right, it would not have sold if they didn’t think they could make money from it. Can’t wait til May to get it.

    My next question is what are doing about marketing and how can we help? How about blog tours or loop announcements we can visit or support? Let us know how to help. We’ll be there for you!

    RD

  5. I think so wickedly cool that you’re getting a book published! We are behind you all the way.

    IMO, I would want an editor to help me make it the best it can be. But if she says it’s good enough…then I’d take her word for it. πŸ™‚ Let’s see it pubbed girlie!!!

  6. I think you’re going to be surprised by the reaction your book will have. You’ll get positive reviews that present points you never thought about and some negative reviews that hate the very things you loved about the book. Over all, you’ll be proud of that “baby”. I know I can’t wait to read it.

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