You have to think you suck, otherwise you will.When I started writing I thought I was a fairly sane person. I thought I was in control of my own emotions, at least as much as anyone is, and there was no way I would be as crazy as those writers on TV and in movies. Guess what? I was wrong.
|This is what happens when you search for crazy on Flickr.|
Over the course of writing and publishing a book, I go through stages of elation where I think, Woohoo, this is going to be the best book ever! (Note: This stage usually occurs before a single word has been written.) I go through meh stages where I think, The book is pretty crappy but I can fix it in revisions. (This is the most common stage.)
And finally I go through stages where I think, I'm a fraud who can't write, I'll never get this book under control, I'll never write anything as good as [fill in name of amazingly talented bestselling author here] and I'll never get another contract again!
This sounds crazy, right? Mood fluctuations, bi-polar schizophrenia, with Charlie Sheen (WINNING!) tendencies. Most definitely.
The sad thing is--and as writers we kind of just have to accept this as fact--we need that fear. We need to worry about writing the worst piece of dog poo ever to hit a page to protect ourselves from ever letting that happen. An actor needs stage fright to bring energy to their performance. A writer needs neurosis to maintain quality, to keep learning and improving and bettering their craft. The moment we start thinking we've got this thing figured out is the moment the writing goes downhill.
I used to think crazy people became writers, but now I know better.
Writing makes people crazy.