Affirmation

It’s strange how our minds’ work. It has this strange habit of sowing doubts, making us question things we were once confident about. Let me explain . . .

After finally publishing Heart Search, book one: Lost, I was euphoric. My dream of seeing something I’d written on the pages of Amazon had come true and I was riding a wave of triumph; I’d achieved my goal!

I knew early on in the writing of Heart Search: Lost that the story wouldn’t fit into just one book and made the decision to spread it over three. It didn’t faze me in the slightest, at the time, and I looked forward to getting the next section drafted. Once the blog tour was underway, I began making my plans to push forward with it during NaNoWriMo. It would give me the discipline and momentum I needed to get it written quickly, I told myself, and was eager to start.

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November 1st came and I sat down to write, full of ideas and inspiration, confidence running high, and then my mind decided to throw a spanner in the works.

Despite the fact the story was flowing quite well and I’d written over ten thousand words by the end of day three, I began to doubt my abilities. I suffered a crisis of confidence. Just because I’d successfully written one book, did that automatically mean I would be able to complete another one? Did I have another novel in me? Would I find enough of a story to finish it? Was I a good enough author to write a second book?

doubt

All these questions and more spun around in my head like a Tasmanian devil on crack, and it was a horrible feeling. On one level I truly believed I could achieve this second goal, but those niggling doubts had taken root and the tendrils were spreading. I kept my own counsel during this worrying time, dug my heels in and gave myself a strongly-worded lecture. And I carried on writing.

As the word count grew, and one chapter led to another and another, my confidence began to come back a little at a time. The fears didn’t go away, but instead of letting them overpower me, I took back control. I was determined to prove to myself that I wasn’t a ‘one-trick pony’!

I finished the first draft of Heart Search, book two, on 11th January – just eleven days ago – and have now begun the revisions and edits. I can honestly say I experienced the same sense of achievement and joy as when I finished writing book one; I’d overcome my misgivings, my confidence crisis and affirmed that yes, I did have it in me to produce another novel.

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I have no idea where the doubts came from or why my mind decided to throw me a major curve ball. What I do know is, I can fight it and win!

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7 thoughts on “Affirmation

  1. Well done for not letting the fear get the better of you 🙂
    I can remember after completing my first novel – all 200K words – wondering if I could do it again, but with so many ideas buzzing around inside my head I just got right on with the next one. Although I haven’t yet published (planning on this spring), I have 4 full novels under my belt and 2 more underway.
    I’ve won a writing competiton, gained an agent and had 2 non-fiction books trad published, yet my fear is about putting a novel out there and seeing it sink without a trace.
    I DO know I’d rather have this fear to make me produce the best novel I can, rather than being over-confident and chucking something out there before it was good enough, so I guess it has its uses.
    And I think that beating that fear makes us tougher and more able to cope in the hugely competitive market we’re entering.
    Onward and upward!

    • Hi Deborah,
      I can totally relate to your fear of putting a novel out and it being a flop! But, you’re so right about it making us tougher and more determined to put out the best work we can.
      Good luck with your novels!
      Carlie 🙂

  2. A great post on the self-doubt we all feel when, to our surprise, we were able to do something amazing, and now we’ve decided to attempt it again. Looking forward to the further adventures!

  3. Good for you Carlie! I wish I could say the same thing, but I’ve really been struggling with my fears. I’m trying to push through it though, and appreciate reading your post and knowing that I’m not alone. :0)

  4. Hi Donna,
    You’re most definitely not alone, my dear. Maybe it’s something we need to go through. not only to make us stronger, but to affirm our choice of writing as our creative outlet. I guess we’ve got to find our inner strength and be guided by our Muse.
    If you ever want to talk about it, please feel free to email me – I’m here for you!
    Carlie xo

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