Deep POV: Confessions of a Christian Writer

The ramblings of an emergent-realistic-edgy-working-for-God-and-the-pay-isn’t-that-great-sometimes-confused-christian-fiction writer (uh, that would be me).

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Deep Doubt

Well, it's happened again. I'm doubting myself. It seems to be a common "disease" among writers whether they're Christian or not. In the last few weeks, it seems like every chapter I've sent to my critique group has met with a lukewarm response. No one says it's terrible, but no one is raving either. Do I need raving? I guess I do. I like to think that what I'm writing has the power to move people, and when that fails to happen, I get depressed. Of course, it's unrealistic to believe that every chapter will be viewed that way. I know that logically, but we're not dealing with logic here, we're dealing with feelings.

So, when this happens, I start looking at the novel as a whole. I wonder why I'm bothering to write it. If my crit partners, who are friends and understand my writing, don't particularly like what I'm doing, how can I possibly think the rest of the world will care? A + B = C. They wouldn't care. Whom am I writing it for? Me? Sometimes it seems exactly that way, as if I entertain an audience of one. Then I want to never send in another chapter for critique. I want to sulk. I want to stomp my foot and be angry.

The writer's life. Such fun.

UPDATE: After some discussion with my crit partners, we decided to institute a color-coded crit system. One of the problems, for me, is that I'm writing a first draft and don't need my vision of the book challenged while it's still being created. I realize we are all different in this. So, we now have a great system that allows us to ask for the type of critique we want, everything from I-just-want-to-share-this-with-you clear through to take-no-prisoners-this-will-go-out-to-an-editor. It's done wonders for us. 10/4/04