Thursday, 13 September 2012

Split Personality Author Disorder

 It seems to me that attempting to become a published author can be somewhat dangerous to our mental health.
 When I'm writing I'm filled with excitement and joy. I'm thrilled with my own brilliance, the perfection of my story, the beauty of my dialogue and convinced that very soon agents and publishers will be queuing to sign me up. I call this stage - confidence dismorphia - a distorted sense of confidence brought on by the creative surge.
 Next, it's the revision stage, and now you become convinced that your work is absolute rubbish. You are riddled with self doubt, you wonder why you ever started and you know that no one will ever want to publish such dross. This stage is psychotic doubt and can lead to tears, tantrums and over indulgence in ice cream and chocolate.
 The submission cycle is a source of real anxiety, a roller coaster of excitement and depression I like to call the email paranoia stage.
 But it doesn't stop there. Once an author has finally found an agent/publishing deal they need to change from an introverted loner to a gregarious salesperson so they can market their books, visit schools, talk at fairs etc all while going through the above stages with their new book.
 It's not easy. Coping with the highs and lows of a creative life is a difficult emotional journey and yet, I sometimes feel as if it's an addictive thing. When I don't have anything on submission I almost start to crave some drama in my life,  am I masochistic I wonder? Are we all? Or simply so in love with writing that all the pain and doubt and fear become unimportant when compared to the excitement and the joy and the hope?
 All I know is that my life has become richer since I started writing and the journey has been  remarkable so whether I ever each my dream destination or not I won't ever regret my choice to set off in the first place!


  1. Ha ha - yes - I definitely think what I'm writing is brilliant as I write and then think it's utter rubbish when I read it back later.

  2. It's a sad but true fact Miriam! xx