Some parts of my process are really fun. The idea stage, the planning stage—mapping things out with an outline, checking my pacing, discovering themes. My absolute favorite part is formatting the finished work as an ebook and reading it through to check the readers’ experience.
Other parts are not so much fun, and self-doubt is at the center of it. During edits, I have a tendency to become incredibly hyper-critical. I panic and think I don’t have enough time to make the work perfect. Luckily, I have friends to remind me that there is no such thing as “enough time” to make anything perfect (because perfection isn’t really attainable—there will always be things I’ll want to fix).
In the draft phase, I struggle with impostor syndrome. I think the words I’m getting out are inferior, that the end product will need endless editing. I question whether I’ve nailed the characters’ voices, have set the tone well, or made the comedies funny enough. And every time I go back and read it, the work is so much stronger than I expected.
I’ve worked hard for decades to build my writing skills to this point. I need to own it, because otherwise, I’ll keep getting pulled into the cycle of self-doubt. I’ll waste time and energy wondering about the words I’ve written instead of making new ones or further sharpening the ones I have. This time around, I’m onto it. Self-doubt is lying.