It has been, as my inevitable end of year summary will doubtless cover, an absolutely crappy few months writing. The things I’ve wanted to do have either been an exceptional struggle, or have eluded me entirely. It’s been confidence-sapping in the extreme, and left me at an all-time low. Writing, for me at least, is an act of confidence more than anything else, and my confidence has been sorely lacking as recent months have passed.
It’s a difficult thing to admit. In this self-promotional age, expressing doubt and low confidence feels more like an act of needy weakness and self-sabotage than ever before (though of course, it always has felt like that). If a writer doesn’t have confidence in him or herself, then why should a reader have confidence in them? As such, when I’m quiet it’s often because I’m wrapped up in a negativity I’d rather keep private.
That makes this new review a welcome thing, particularly as it’s genuinely unexpected. E.G. Wolverton has taken the time to write a thoughtful and considered review of the new anthology Iris Wildthyme Of Mars, and offers up a paragraph to my contribution ‘Doomed’. Go and have a read.
I love writing for Iris Wildthyme, but I was almost certain I’d buggered up this time, and written the sort of Iris story that nobody actually wanted to read. To find one person who seems to have enjoyed it a great deal is welcome beyond words. It gives me a little spark of confidence back, and even if it only last for this one evening then I’ll take that gladly.
Writers are often negatively affected by reviews, whether the feedback is kind or savage. It can go to our heads when people tell us we’re awesome, and wreck us when we get pulled apart. Today though, a review has done a good thing. I don’t think I’m stellar despite what this review says, but I’m reminded that I don’t always suck.
Not sucking is pretty much my main goal when it comes to telling stories. This isn’t quite an end of It’s A Wonderful Life moment, but it’s a nice gift to receive this Xmas.