Last week, I finished the third and final draft of my first novel. After three years of toiling over the characters, the story, and every single word, it was finally done! My inner critic, however, refuses to let me celebrate. She reminds me that I have no idea what I’m doing. Worse still, she can back up that statement by bringing up the three prior false starts that can only be described as epic failures.
I remember how my pulse shot up for a brief moment as I reconfigured the last line one more time. I had only a few seconds of excitement before it all turned surreal. Now that it was done, what was I supposed to do next? I could almost hear the witch cackle of my inner critic as she started to toy with my confidence. The next natural step, of course, is to let people read your work and then brace yourself for the feedback. In the back of my mind that cruel little voice started whispering, “It sucks, you know.” “There are thousands of writers who can write better than you.” “There are mistakes on every page – stupid mistakes that should not be there.” “No one wants to read this piece of crap. What were you thinking?” “Everyone is going to hate it.” I wasn’t kidding when I said she was trying to kill me. She’s mean.