Clawing out of the darkness - writerly self-doubt

I'm excited to show you all the cover for A Rare Vintage in just five short days... And to release the book at the end of this month. I really like this book. It was fun. It kind of birthed itself and just happened. And it doesn't always go that way.

I've been struggling on the other project I'm working on. The publication date got pushed back indefinitely due to the struggle. And now that the ball is back in my court and a new publication date has been very tentatively set and I have a sort of firm deadline for getting my revision to my editor... I am feeling powerless at the time when I should be feeling most powerful. It's all up to me now, right? Here's my chance to fix it all.

I feel like I've been run over by a truck carrying a whole load of self-loathing, fear and doubt in one of those big cement mixer things. I feel like it pulled up in front of my house and set up that little ramp that they pour the cement through so that it ran right through the front window and into the room where I write. And I got stuck. And even though I'm out walking around and living my life, I'm actually stuck there, mired in the foul-smelling crap that got dumped all over me.

I don't know if I can write what they want. I don't know if it will be what I want. I know this is a business. And I love the business of writing as much as I love the art and craft of it. But I've been reading a lot and thinking about the things that I'm reading differently than I used to. I've been thinking things like, "how did he/she do that?" "how do they keep all those plot lines distinct and marching forward with just the perfect amount of tension?" "how did they show that perfect character journey without me even noticing?" "how did they build that suspense?" And to answer the questions, I read craft books. And they only serve to remind me how very difficult it is to actually DO all of those things. And do them well. And who the hell am I to think that I can do that?

Maybe this type of thinking doesn't have a place on this blog... I'm building an author platform, right? Speaking to potential readers, right?

But maybe it's okay -- in case I ever do succeed -- to tell them (you?) that it's hard. And that it's scary.

And so I will continue getting up early and battling with the keyboard. And maybe when I turn this draft in, they'll shake their heads and say, "never mind. we didn't think you could do it. it's okay."

Or maybe it will be okay.