I imagine that for every writer not totally enamoured of their own genius, there comes an hour – a afternoon, a month of pain – in which they are overcome by doubts of their abilities. In my case, it is not that I doubt what I am doing – writing is something that even if I when I was truly awful I had to keep tinkering away with as it helps life to be better, richer in ways that are hard to fathom and harder to dismiss – but how I am going about things.
It’s the busyness of stuffing packages, of researching names, trawling through blogs, reading reviews of books I won’t read until I have the money to pay for them (as they are seldom the ones chosen by the New York Public Library, good as it is). It’s the writing itself, the thrust of the narrative, the jigsaw of character segments, the evermoving stream of words going somewhere and my following it, unsure of quite where it is taking me, how will I get back to fix the weaker banks.
And then the question that I do not want to ask myself, of whether it is any good, the old book, or if the new book will be of any worth to the world. The adage of petals dropped down the grand canyon is less fitting than the worry that one is not making petals at all, but dust bunnies, or lint or some other useless detritus to be tossed to the wind, or to collect in drawers and other forgotten places. That my dust is of a flavour unappealing to the gatekeepers.
I don’t think I have much else to go with this right now. It’s a passing thing. To have written this far is to innately possess a terrible confidence in what I am doing, whether I understand how the mechanism of it all works or not.