Yet Another Sign That I Truly Am a Writer

I suck. My book sucks. Why would anyone want to read this? I don’t even want to read this. Why did I ever think this was a good idea? I may as well quit now and save agents the hassle of ignoring my query.

Ever had these thoughts? That’s been the constant monologue running through my head lately. I’ve written a query letter (well really I tweaked the version I wrote a year ago) but I can’t seem to get beyond that. I haven’t even opened a document to start a synopsis. I just don’t see the point.

Then it struck me that I must really be a writer because it seems each of my friends has gone through this at some point or another. Doubted themselves, doubted their writing, doubted the point in putting themselves through all this grief.

Since moving back to the US I’ve done a lot of comparing my pre-Mexico life with my life now, and the biggest difference is I wasn’t writing or dreaming of getting published. Or at least I wasn’t doing anything about it. I sometimes wonder what the heck I did with all my time. I certainly watched a lot more television, but I was rarely on the computer outside of work and I didn’t have ANY online friends or blogs.

I know that my life has a lot more value now and I couldn’t go back to my old way of life, so my only choice is to keep plugging away. Finish the draft and get the queries out. Start the next book. Keep making contacts. And most importantly, lean on my writing friends when I need a pep talk.

I know it’s only a matter of time before I’ll be returning the favor.

Special thanks to Nadine for talking me off the ledge this week.

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama.
SCBWI member since 2015.

26 Comments

  1. I’m going through one of those periods now. Much of it, I think, has to do simply with circumstances and that I cannot devote the amount of free time some do in order to make the next jump. So, the self-doubt that creeps in (and it does) has to do with seeing your friends have success coupled with a handful of your own rejection notices and stirred with the reality that come Monday, the regular job calls.

    I’m sure Nadine did a great job of getting you back inside. I’d offer this: The biggest things to consider are your own realities and how you accomplish all the survival stuff first. Then, of course, priorities and finally, simply the amount of passion and drive you have to achieve those things. Besides, you’ve proven to yourself that you can write a book. That means you can write another. You’ve proven to yourself that you can get published. You can do that again on a larger scale. And so on.

    If you want it, you’ll get it. You have or know all the tools.

    • Thanks Jason. You always so good at making me look at the big picture and stop getting so hung up on the little things.

      For me, seeing my friends’ success just makes me more anxious to get started. I’ve only queried once and for a short time so I feel like I’m not even giving myself the chance to get rejected.

  2. I can’t think of one writer I know of who HASN’T thought this! Even while trudging through my current WIP I’ve had these thoughts. I think a little self-doubt is normal in the field we’re trying so hard to break in to.

    Good job to Nadine for getting you off the ledge. Get that synopsis written and query! You can do it!!

  3. I’ve heard all that internal dialogue recently, too, and it stinks.

    But you’re right, the peptalks, and the support and all that is invaluable. We can do this.

    Glad you’ve seen it’s all worth it!

  4. Hang in there…we all suck!
    I sometimes read books and think…if this can get published I should have no problem. I recently read a James Patterson novel that made me want to rip my eyes out it was so bad. It broke all the rules, exclaimation points all over the place, Every time we were in the character’s head he was thinking three questions. Weird. The main character was supposed to be a big tough cop and when upset he “nibbled at the corners of my sandwich”. I don’t know, sounded kind of feminine to me…
    Usually I love James, but this book missed the boat.
    Hang in there! And never give up.

    • Thanks Aimless. I know what you mean about reading other books that make it feel like we’re trying TOO hard. I know that’s not what you actually said, but it made me think that. So once we publish 30 books we can stop trying?

  5. JLC

    Its like you are standing at the edge of a diving board not knowing if you should jump. “the water may be too cold”, “what if I bellyflop?” But when you turn around, you see the huge line of those waiting for their turn and thats when you realize, “This is your turn, make the most of it!!” And you leap. If you dont submit, then you have a 100% chance of failure. So push all thoughts aside and… jump! (hugs)

    • Thanks JLC! I’ll definitely send it out, I’m just nervous that it’ll be a wasted effort. BUT I won’t know unless I try, so try I will.

      And now I want to jump off a diving board. I haven’t done that since Kentucky!

  6. kevin

    Dudette! Today only! ONE TIME EXCLUSIVE SALE on super motivation pep-talks! This is no “Ad- Cloning”! This an original, ONE TIME ONLY! opportunity for you! We are not recycling our competitors / clorox bleach ads!
    I mean if you don’t want to write, you can always go back to thinking up new ad headlines? LOL! Dudette, you’re a writer. Get a cup of coffee, throw the ball down the hall for Owen, and get that friggin’ synopsis done! I seem to recall somebody that was always working on balancing her checkbook cuz she worked so fast she was always done??? 😉

    Best motivational speech I got for a Monday morning!

    k-

  7. You’re so right (write?). Doubting oneself, hating queries – Dude! You’re a writer! Plus, now you’re working full time, so it must be a weird transition. In Mexico you were essentially a full time writer, and now you have to “find the time”, which can be tough after a full work week. I feel your pain.

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