I endure a lot of angst about who I am, who I think I pretend to be, and being unmasked as a pretender.
I’m not unusual. Many in western society seem besieged by angst. Writers, from what I read, endure high levels of angst that erodes our self-confidence. We’re always worried about being discovered as a pretender. I think it’s because we’re working alone so often, but also, subconsciously, we compare our works in progress with other published materials and writers. Right or wrongly, we can come out feeling like a loser because we see elements in others’ work that we don’t see in our work.
In retrospect, I believe I suffered an angst spell the other day, when editing fatigue overwhelmed me. There’s no doubt that editing fatigue afflicted me. That isn’t uncommon. I’m usually able to push through. Each of us have limits to how much we can push through. I’d hit mine.
And I believe that my angst contributed. Writing alone, with no one to talk to about my progress, doubts, victories and hopes, leaves me mentally, intellectually and emotionally diminished.
Writing about it was a successful gambit. Just opening up and spilling my concerns was a release. Also helpful is how other writers jumped in with their stories and suggestions. These were enormously helpful to lifting the shroud of doubt and weariness encumbering me. By the next day, I’d resumed editing and revising.
In the aftermath, I considered taking regular breaks from writing, editing and revising to keep me fresh and sharp. Multiple decisions are being made while editing and revising. Some require more thought about the impact on the novel’s overall arcs. It is taxing. Maybe taking breaks would be beneficial.
In classic personal faction, I decided, yes, taking breaks is acceptable, but…scheduling breaks is more troubling for me, so I’ll approach it organically. If I feel a break will help, I’ll do as some comments suggest, and listen to myself.
Now, I have my mocha and I’m at the table. It’s time to edit and revise again, at least one more time.