October 28th, 2008
Doubting Thomas

RED has started to ship. Gulp! Game on.

You know I was thinking about a conversation I had the other day with a reader friend about how I some authors see their finished work. I know I have a bad habit of being fairly self-deprecating when it comes to talking about my work. Part of it stems from my own need not to take things too seriously. The other part comes from a tiny area inside my brain that screams I’m a fraud and it’s only a matter of time before I’m discovered. I think this is fairly common with a lot of authors. There’s a part of us that truly can’t believe we’re writing and getting published. And there’s no amount of reassurances from readers, friends or family that will change that doubt. Maybe it’s part of the creative process.

My reader friend and one of my critique partners have both mentioned that I cannot see my work clearly. They told me I don’t give myself enough credit. That may be true. No one on this planet is harder on me than well, me. It’s something I’m working on. πŸ™„

I’m in awe when I meet writers who don’t seem to doubt their work/abilities. I can’t figure out if they’re lying, delusional, or truly that confident. I know I’ve met a lot of writers who enjoy reading their work after it’s been published. I am NOT one of them. I will probably never read RED again. I may check to make sure they took out the copyedit notes that ended up in the ARC, but other than that, no way. I’ve only managed to read two of my books, Tears of Amun and Gothic Passions once they were published. I find it painful because there are always things I want to change, make better, fix, etc.

If you’re a reader, do you think you notice the ‘little things’ or are you reading for the overall story? If you’re a writer, do you enjoy reading your work after it’s been published?

16 comments to “Doubting Thomas”

  1. I’m still waiting for my agent to say it was all a practical joke they’ve been pulling on me for ten years. Would be the best — or meanest — practical joke of all time. πŸ™‚

    I’m very attached to and involved in my work, and while I’m writing it’s with me in some shape or form constantly, but I rarely read anything after it’s been published. I’ve had a publisher “lose” the last ten pages of a galley and send out an incomplete ARC — my first published romance, in fact — so yeah, I do take a look through the finished edition, basically to assure myself that it’s all there. But once it’s in print, I move on.

    I know some authors reread their published work if they write series, but I prefer working from my novel notebooks. All the worksheets, outlines, whys and hows that the readers don’t see are in my notes.

  2. I read for the overall story. I’m very forgiving as long as I’m rooting for the characters and totally in for the ride of the story.

    As a writer…. well, I’ve skimmed through past story, I winced at some parts, and thought, wow I wrote that, at others. πŸ˜›

    Congrats, Jordan. You have nothing to sweat, girl. RED is going to be a hit!

  3. I can’t read my work once it’s done. If it’s a series, I’ll go back and check the work, make sure I get all the nuts and bolts of the storyarc right (Glad I keep notes now apart from the manuscripts).

    My husband thinks it’s odd that when I finish writing a story, I forget what I’ve written. When I read a review or someone asks me a question about the characters, I have to go back and reread that part to know what they’re talking about.

    LOL. I’ve only known one or two others who don’t reread their work.

    On the self doubt with RED…try not to let your anxiety make you crazy. I can’t wait to read it and I don’t know if that helps or not! LOL. *hugs* You’ll do great.

  4. I read for the overall story Jordan. As long as there are good strong characters woven into a storyline that is enjoyable I’m good with the book.

    Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. Please trust me, after a 34 year career doing what I do, I’ve learned the hard way. πŸ˜†

    Don’t worry – all will be good!! πŸ™‚

  5. Lynn, That would be quite a joke. 😯

    Yikes on the ‘lost’ pages. I swear nothing surprises me anymore. πŸ™„

    I’m with you on looking at notes. I’ve looked a couple of things up in the previous manuscript, but other than that, I’d prefer to work with notes.

  6. Thanks Vanessa. πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed.

    Yes, as I reader I do much the same. As a writer, I’ve only read the two books I mentioned above. I was pleasantly surprised by Gothic Passions. I didn’t think it was half bad.

  7. Thanks Dawn! πŸ™‚

    ***I forget what I’ve written. When I read a review or someone asks me a question about the characters, I have to go back and reread that part to know what they’re talking about. ***

    I’m actually like this. LOL! I was the same way when I wrote songs. I’d never remember the lyrics unless I was performing them often. It was like the second it was down on paper (or tape) it was out of my mind. *ggg*

  8. Lea, Thanks!

    I also read for characters. I mean I’m following the story and enjoying the ride, but only because the characters have captured me in some way. πŸ™‚

  9. LOL You’re welcome Jordan.

    Yes! Another one!!! πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to the release!

  10. Dawn, Thank you. πŸ™‚

  11. I think neurotic and paranoid is the natural state of the writer. :mrgreen: We just have to keep a sense of humor about it. Probably if I woke up one day and thought every word I wrote was fabulous, I’d stop working so hard to get better. So it might be a good thing to write haunted by the fear of suckdom.

    I’m usually pleasantly surprised when I re-read something…if enough time has gone by. Then it looks like a book somebody else wrote.

  12. As a reader, it’s for the overall story (unless something really stands out that attracts my attention)…

    I don’t re-read my stuff after it’s pubbed, I’m too critical–but have learned to look over the final product (it was the only way I found out the title had been spelled wrong in the first few copies of one, ha).

    Red will rock. πŸ˜‰

  13. The other part comes from a tiny area inside my brain that screams I’m a fraud and it’s only a matter of time before I’m discovered.

    Are you my long lost sister?

  14. Charli, I would panic if I woke up and suddenly thought everything I wrote was fab. LOL! I’ve had that occur in portions of my books and it’s inevitably a section ONLY I like. *ggg*

    I hear you on wondering who wrote the work.

  15. Thanks Raine. I look over the book during edits, but that’s it. I’m sure I’ll check Red out to make sure those copyedits are gone. Can you tell it’s something that has been bugging the &$%# out of me? *ggg*

  16. Shiloh, Possibly. πŸ˜‰