I wasted a whole lot of writing time this week with a big old crisis of confidence. On Tuesday I convinced myself that I didn't like my main character and needed to make her more spirited and less cautious and that had a ripple effect all the way down. If she was confident, then all the people around her would have to change and her entire journey over the course of the novel would change. And that left me with what? Maybe just a concept?
For my fellow dweebs out there, just think of if Tolkien had decided that Boromir actually did get to carry the ring instead of Frodo. Different book, eh?
So I spent a chunk of Wednesday moping about and feeling bad about all the effort I'd put in so far. I revised my supporting documents which track my heroine's journey and rewrote my character sketches and remembered how one of my favorite profs from undergrad said that editing your own writing sometimes feels like you are "slaughtering your little darlings" and what a sucky a feeling that was.
I didn't get to write on Thursday because the small critter had a day-long field trip that I helped out on. And not writing was probably the smartest thing I could do--take a flipping break and get a little distance from my crisis.
Today I went back and decided to just read what I had written so far. No writing expectation, just a chance to see if my Tuesday freak out was justified or not. And it is with a big sigh of relief that I can say that my crisis of confidence was not warranted--I like my main character the way she is and while I'm sure I'll be doing some severe editing in the weeks and months to come, I don't have to slaughter this little darling just yet.