My guest is suspense author, Jo Robertson. Jo shares two novellas for your enjoyment. Her topic is one writers everywhere can identify with–self doubt.
Anne Bradstreet, the Colonial American poet, wrote a poem titled “Author to Her Book,” in which she uses a lovely metaphor. She compares her book to a child being sent out into the world as parents might send an unprepared child from their home – dirty-faced, tattered-dressed – not ready for the world to see it, judge it, or evaluate it.
She indicates her book of poetry (her child) was sent out into the world by well-meaning friends, “friends, less wise than true . . .," who knew she needed the money.
As a writer I identify with Bradstreet's sentiments. Most writers never feel their works are finished, complete, or polished enough for the world to read and judge. Every time I peruse an older manuscript of mine, I think of dozens of ways I could alter it, make it better, or just fiddle around with the damned thing!
Extending her metaphor, Bradstreet insists that the book’s “visage was . . . irksome in [her] sight,” but because it was hers, she believed that affection would amend its blemishes. However, the more she scrubbed its “face,” the “more defects [she] saw” till at last, her poverty “caused her to thus send [it] out of door.”
Oh, don't we fall in love with our words! How difficult it is to eliminate a single one.
Self-doubt is one of the most debilitating of traits, and yet, we writers constantly denigrate our best efforts in spite of the evidence around us.
I think artists of all kinds are the greatest self-doubters, but writers are particularly vulnerable. After having published twelve titles with moderate success, I finally learned to trust my gut, to rely on my best judgment of my work. Authors have always struggled to make a living from their writing. Isn't it wonderful that in this electronic age we have so many options open to us?
When I'm selling well, especially in this quixotic and undependable market, I count my blessings! I remind myself, when sales are low, that many of the greatest writers of our generation and previous ones, were not popular during their lifetimes.
What do you readers think?
Are you one of those who doubts yourself? Do you always second guess your decisions? Are you too hard on yourself? Do we writers fail to admire our strengths and dwell instead on our weaknesses? Why do you think we do this?
If you're not a writer, what do you have self-doubts about in your life?
Logan is a professional hit man. He finds the Christmas Season the dreariest and most boring of the year, but this particular year he gets caught up in a holiday jingle that lodges in his mind.
When he gets an unusual December contract, he follows a sassy twelve-year-old and her odd companions through the Bronx ... and serious trouble.
This assignment brings Logan face to face with the concept of how far he can go on this dark path before there's no turning back.
Is it already too late for redemption?
THE PERFECT GIFT
When her husband dies unexpectedly Jane Stark is left with four young boys and a mother-in-law who hates her. When she finds herself pregnant with the longed-for baby girl her husband wanted and ex-detective Rick --- moves in next door, Jane doesn't know whether to be happy or overwhelmed with the changes life has handed her.