Second and Third and Fourth Guessing

In the past month I’ve gone through and read my upcoming novel All’s Fair in Love & Politics at least four times all the way through. The first time was great. It had been months since I’d read it all the way through, and I was happily surprised to like it, and be proud of what I’d accomplished. Yay, me!

Then I had to read it a second time, and the doubts started to poke their way through. Did I do this enough? Did I go overkill on this? Should hero choose a, should heroine do b? But, I shook those doubts away. The choices I’d made worked. It’s a good story.

Then… the third time came. The doubts came back louder, more persistent. I admit I was feeling a little down about this. Feeling a little like my book was going to crash and burn before it even had a release date. I tried to remind myself of two things:

1. Someone liked it enough to publish it, so it isn’t total sludge.

2. I liked this at one point. It can’t be that bad.

Then last week I read this post by my CP about rereading and I realized something about my process. If I try to do too much rereading, my doubts get stronger. By the end of writing a novel, if I immediately jump into edits, I end up hating the novel and thinking it is crap. If I give myself time before I jump into edits, I’m usually quite pleased even if there are some changes to be made. I need that time to keep my inner critic at bay, and I’m going to have to keep that in mind as I continue to work on books with the hopes of getting them published.

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