I Hate My Book!

There comes a time in every writer’s life when the current book—the one that’s contracted, written, revised and at least partially edited—becomes the single most hated thing in the world.

All I really need to say about this is: That’s normal.

Almost every author I’ve worked with has told me at some point that they hate their book. Some have even called me and said flat-out they need to be talked off the ledge because they can’t stand to look at their book for one more minute.

Usually there comes a point in the editing process where they feel like they’re not just sick of it. They’re convinced it’s Really Bad. Like Piece of Cr*p bad. Like, OMG the publisher is going to cancel my book bad.

When you get like this? It’s a “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” moment. The man behind the curtain is your insecurity, trying to control things while pretending it knows All.

It doesn’t. It knows nothing. So, do nothing.

Ignore that voice. Just push through it. Keep going – whether you’re writing or editing or giving your galleys a final proofing or even if you’re looking at the printed copy of your book in your hand. Ignore the voice, don’t feed it, and soon (trust me) it will go away.

Have you ever heard that voice?

© 2010 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. AMber on July 4, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    I really needed to read this post! 5 months ago, when my manuscript was a twiggy, pathetic, 20k outline I just LOVED every single word of that thing! Now I’m fine-tuning for the query process and I’ve edited it so much there’s just no magic left when I look at it. I just hate it so much! But maybe that means I’m headed in the right direction.

  2. Lisa Nicholas on July 26, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    That’s where I was yesterday. I was still depressed when I woke up this morning. But then I got a handle on a whole new way of approaching the story, and now Draft 4.5 (yeah, I had already started on draft 4) will be a complete rewrite. The end is nowhere in sight, but I feel better.

  3. Rebecca on May 11, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    This is an old post but I was compelled to comment. I NEEDED to read this. Thank you. I’ve just finished my 3rd draft of my book and it’s dawned on my that I hate it. I’m fairly certain that it’s garbage and that my writing hasn’t improved since I was in middle school writing fanfiction. Thank you for this post. I will push this and work hard to take this as far as I can. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Debbie Niemeyer on April 14, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    What a sad post of mine from last year. My manuscript has been edited and proofread. I’m still editing the proof read, since I see some editorial mistakes. After a few more reads, I just want to go ahead and publish it. I NEVER WANT TO READ THIS BOOK AGAIN. I’VE READ IT OVER A HUNDRED TIMES. Even if it sucks, I just want it to be readable without so many compound sentences; that’s been my issue.

  5. P on May 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    I know! I was so sick of my own book by the last revision that I could not even read the final draft. Plus my publisher and I wrangled on some topics and I totally lost interest in the book. Even though I have put many months in writing and working on it, I feel quite disassociated from it right now. :/

  6. Debbie Niemeyer on May 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    What bugs me is that I’ve been writing and editing a 200 page (not very long) book for nearly three years, while without much employment. And yet I keep getting it wrong in terms of not only grammar and punctuation, but the tone and syntax still comes across as dumb and unwitty. It’s like I’m not conveying what I really think. What is wrong with me? I’m just not the writing kind, but I don’t want to hire a ghost writer. I want to do it on my own. I feel like I’m living a do or die moment.

  7. Psn Card on April 8, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    You’re so interesting! I don’t think I’ve truly read something like that before. So nice to discover someone with some original thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  8. I think everything wrote was very reasonable. However, what about this? what if you added a little content? I ain’t suggesting your information is not solid, but suppose you added a title that makes people desire more? I mean I Hate My Book! | Rachelle Gardner is a little vanilla. You ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create post headlines to get viewers to click. You might add a related video or a picture or two to grab readers interested about everything’ve got to say. Just my opinion, it might make your posts a little bit more interesting.

  9. PSN code generator on March 10, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    I tend not to leave a leave a response, but I looked at a few of the responses on this page I Hate My Book! | Rachelle Gardner. I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it simply me or do some of the remarks look like they are coming from brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on other sites, I would like to keep up with you. Could you make a list of all of your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  10. Watch TV free on February 26, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    I don’t comment, however I looked through some responses on this page I Hate My Book! | Rachelle Gardner. I do have a couple of questions for you if it’s okay. Is it simply me or does it give the impression like a few of these responses come across like they are coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional sites, I would like to follow anything new you have to post. Would you post a list of all of your social community sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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  15. Nora Coon on December 12, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    >Ha, I love the photo that accompanies this. I definitely felt that way with my last two published books – what's worse, they were nonfiction, so I was halfway through writing a contracted book and thinking "How could anyone want to read this?"

    Thankfully, that feeling always went away after a little while.

  16. Catherine on December 11, 2010 at 1:34 AM

    >Yes, I've heard that voice many times. I'm hearing it now with my novel that is in its second draft stage. I've been writing it for five years and when I tried to do the last edit I felt like I was going to edit to death, because it was just so terrible. I had to step away from the manuscript, put it away in a dark, dry place and start a new novel. So far I haven't gone back. Maybe next month.


  17. TerryLynnJohnson on December 10, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    >omg. It's like you've written this post all for me. I'm walking away from the ledge to write this comment. Thank you.

  18. R.D. Allen on December 8, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    >Well, I haven't been published, so I can't relate to that pressure, but I have hated a book so much that I decided to just regard it as a step in the road and never do anything with it. It was my 3rd novel, and it was just a point in my life, not anything worth taking further.

    I also went through a point where I hated the book I'm currently trying to get published, I'M SORRY, mostly because I'd been doing so much self-editing that I was pushing myself to my own breaking point. I just didn't think I could make it any better and I knew it could be better. The thing was, it's out of my hands to figure that out, and I have to hope that my best is good enough for it to get published.

    Let it rest in God's hands, right? 🙂

  19. mt si dad on December 8, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    >Well, yeah. Last night when I was staring at the first chapter and saying "Ugh. I cannot fix this. That's 75,000 words of ugly in this book. Sludge. Bits of ephemera floating from my brain to the keyboard. Is it too late to get my job back as a ditch-digger?" (No offense to ditch-digger.)

    Not quite convinced it's of any worth, but I will give it another go.

  20. Daun Richert-Slagle on December 8, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    >I am writing a memoir… I am in the 3rd set of revisions. It is terribly hard to keep going sometimes as that "perfection" monster sits on my shoulder and tells me it needs something else..is it good enough yet? I avoid it, get mad at it, and shut down rather than face it from time to time… But I still keep going…slowly but surely. I will get there. I did need to hear what you said in the post though, and I am glad to know this isn't an isolated experience known only to me. I will keep trudging along. I just entered a short story competition, and oddly enough, I learned more from the discipline of the short story than I have from my full length book. It taught me to make every word count, and when to pull back and when to be colorful. Thank you for your post. It was very helpful. ~ Daun Richert-Slagle

  21. Merrie Destefano on December 8, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    >Have I ever heard that voice? Um, yes. I'm in the midst of copy edits on my second novel right now and THAT voice is so loud I can barely hear anything else. I really hate that voice, because honestly, I can get sick of chocolate if I eat it at every meal. And we all know, chocolate is ambrosial. If I just leave it alone for a few days, I will love it again.

    Must apply the Logic of Chocolate to my own writing.

    Thanks for the reminder! It was much needed right now.

  22. Joanne Bischof on December 8, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    >Wow, a breath of fresh air! I'm so glad to know that feeling is normal. I've currently finshed editing a book I was ready to throw out the window and I'm so glad the edit is done. With this new perspective, I'm quite proud of it 🙂

  23. Zeke Pipher on December 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    >I'm at the point where I'll read an expense report, a vet bill, or a receipt from the hardware store, and I'll think… "Why can't my book be this good?"

  24. Terri Tiffany on December 8, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    >Yes!! I've felt that way!! Thank you so much for telling me it's normal and ok!!

  25. Kathryn Magendie on December 8, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    >I felt that way about my second book after it was published … I read it and thought "oh dear . . . I needed more time with this book." The first book I felt so secure with and proud of it and I talk/talked about it. But it's almost as if the second book is some hidden thing I have behind my back: first book held out proudly, second book behind my back.

    People ask, what's behind your back? and I say, oh it's nothing, just this crappy book I wrote too quickly while I was dealing with sick family members and really stessed and oh it's not so good and and … Oh M Gee, I'm apologizing for my own book! *laugh* *sigh*

    Then the other night I read a book by Famous Author and when I closed the book, I thought, Okay, let it go because not every book by authors, even Famous Multi-Published ones – is going to be The Best Damn Book Ever – sometimes our books/their books are just going to be Good Enough I guess.

    (But you can bet I'm happy with my third one …Ha! 😀 )

  26. Dee White on December 8, 2010 at 4:33 AM

    >Thanks for your post, Rachelle. It really resonated with me. My publisher told me I would love my book again once I held it in my hand…and she was right:)

  27. Carol J. Garvin on December 8, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    >Oh my, yes! Thank you for reassuring me that I'm not the only one. The more revisions I do, the louder the voice gets until I reach what feels like the last one. Then the voice fades to a whisper.

  28. Jan Markley on December 8, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    >Love the pic! I stopped listening to the voices in my head ages ago 😉

  29. Carrie L. Lewis on December 7, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    >Yeah! I'm hearing it right now and have been hearing it for the last two-and-a-half or three weeks! Arrrggh!

    And I thought it was just me!

  30. ninabadzin.com on December 7, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    >Can we discuss the genius of that picture? PERFECT for this post!

  31. Shannon on December 7, 2010 at 7:57 PM

    >I don't hate my book because I think it's bad. I've hated it (I took a break so I'm better now) because I've read it faaaaaar too often and everytime I read it there's something else to edit. I'm actually surprised by how much good stuff there is in it. I think it will be publishable. It's just taking me so long to fix the bits that need fixing….

  32. Marybeth on December 7, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    >Goodness but I have felt that exact way before! Recently actually! It's good to know I am not the only writer who feels this way. Just today I found out my edits are done, done, done. I don't think there's a better feeling!!

  33. Rachelle on December 7, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    >LOL! I love that pic! I think the man behind the curtain talks loudest to me about halfway through the first draft. I start to think, this isn't good enough, should I even bother to finish? I have to resist the urge to go back and totally rewrite everything and make myself finish it first. I found doing NaNo to be helpful because I was typing so fast I couldn't hear the man behind the curtain over the click of the keys. 🙂 Of course, he'll make me pay for ignoring him about the time I hit the 12th draft and then that might be me chewing on a keyboard!

  34. Eeleen Lee on December 7, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    >The problem tends to be more specific with me, such as 'I hate my plot!" but yes, hating the whole WIP is normal.

  35. Maggie Desmond-O'Brien on December 7, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    >There aren't words for how well this post sums up my current state of mind. I actually love revising, but drafting is what makes me want to throw the laptop out the window. Now, at least, I feel a little better. =) Thanks for the post!

  36. Cecelia Dowdy on December 7, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    >>>>Have you ever heard that voice?

    Oh, my goodness, yes! About a gazillion times and counting!!!

  37. Darby Karchut on December 7, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    >Oh, thank goodness I read this post! I guess I'll blow out my match and NOT torch my galley!

    Until tomorrow…

  38. Alex Beecroft on December 7, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    >Oh, God, yes. All the time! It tends to start around chapter 5 of the first draft of anything and carry on until I've finished the first edit. Once I've done my first edit, I'm usually happier, but the first draft is an endurance test.

  39. Michelle DeRusha on December 7, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    >I have absolutely heard that voice, even just with my unpublished, uncontracted manuscript. It got so bad, I would look at it one day and think it was genius, and then the very next day I'd be convinced it was rubbish. It made me feel like an insane woman.

    So I put the ms away for about a month, and when I returned to it, I had a fresh (and more sane) approach to it.

  40. Kerri M. on December 7, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    >Holy guacamole, this was EXACTLY how I was feeling this morning. Perfect timing for this post I tell ya – I feel much better knowing this is normal. 🙂

  41. Miss Fitz on December 7, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    >Oh my word. I did the 3-day novel contest and that was totally my reaction. it was my first 'novel' and 2 days later i had mass panic that no one should *ever* read it. thanks for making me feel less alone.

  42. Rebecca Stroud on December 7, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    >I'm retyping an old novel I've had in my "drawers" for years and, as I go, I edit. Yet, invariably, what I wrote the first time makes more sense and sounds better than my revisions.

    That said, I think there is something else to be said about editing/revising too much. No wonder we get to hate these labors of so-called love.

    I don't mean that we shouldn't look at our work with a critical eye but there does come a time when enough is enough, what will be, will be and all that other philosophical drivel.

    At the moment, I'm driving myself nuts with renaming my antagonist and I have a list a mile long. But I still keep coming back to her original name. Gut instinct must be telling me something and I'm going to pay attention lest I end up truly hating the whole process.

    In other words, I think that when we start to "hate" our works then we need to stop tweaking and simply go with the writing flow.

  43. T. Anne on December 7, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    >Oh I've been there. It stems from frustration. Somedays I like to blame my books for all that's wrong in my world. I hope once my novels are published I wont have that love/hate relationship with them anymore. At the moment, my novels and I are in good standing.

  44. Regina on December 7, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    >This hits so close to home for me right now in my process. Thanks for this.

  45. Stephanie McGee on December 7, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    >I can relate in that I reach that point with every book I've written. I'm not agented, not published, not anything yet, but I still get this feeling. This voice still nags at me as I write, or fail to write because real life gets in the way. There's a reason that I'm not seeking representation at the current time. It's the voice, the real life, all of it.

    Thanks for this. I really did need this reminder to keep the curtain drawn.

  46. Marja on December 7, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    >I needed this today Rachelle 🙂 I needed it bad! I am working on the translation of my book BREATH OF LIFE for my publisher in Holland…. and I am having a hard time with it.

  47. Leah Petersen on December 7, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    >Oh gosh, yes. I'm at the point where mine's with an editor and an agent, both. It feels like if I have to read that drivel One More Time I'm going to scream.

    Of course, it's with an agent and an editor because they're telling me it's not drivel. But it sure feels like it at this point.

    Great, and very timely post.

  48. vvdenman.com on December 7, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    >But the man behind the curtain talks REALLY LOUDLY.

  49. Abra on December 7, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    >How can we tell the difference between this phenomenon and a genuine, accurate gut analysis of a book that truly is not working?

  50. Norma Beishir on December 7, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    >My first novel went through so many revisions and rewrites, by the time it was published, I was sick of it.

  51. Beth Mann on December 7, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    >This absolutely happens to me, and more often than I care to admit. I find so much comfort in all of these comments, as I can see it happens to writers who, in my opinion, are way more ahead in the game than I am.

    Great post, Rachelle!

  52. Michael Parker on December 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    >I've never hated any of my books, but I do call writing the 'Sweet Curse'. I love writing and know that I am 'doomed ' to write. Can't help it. The sweet bit comes from producing the finished product: the book. The curse comes when you try to interest an agent or publisher and have to suffer those sniffy rejections. I've had seven novels published and have been writing all my adult life. But hated it? Never!

  53. Nadia on December 7, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    >Thanks – I feel normal again!!! That's one of the major plus-points about journalism deadlines – you don't tend to have time to get sick of writing the same story. Working on a manuscript has been a whole new experience for me. Aside from my own occasional bouts of negativity, I really hate it when other people make comments like: "Oh, you're still working on that? I thought you would have finished it by now!" That sort of thing definitely doesn't help your motivation!!!

  54. Nadia on December 7, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    >Thanks – I feel normal again!!! That's one of the major plus-points about journalism deadlines – you don't tend to have time to get sick of writing the same story. Working on a manuscript has been a whole new experience for me. Aside from my own occasional bouts of negativity, I really hate it when other people make comments like: "Oh, you're still working on that? I thought you would have finished it by now!" That sort of thing definitely doesn't help your motivation!!!

  55. thumbtack4k on December 7, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    >I usually hate it when I love something I'm writing, because I know I'll look at it tomorrow and want to toss it. I hate feeling embarrassed by my own writing… even if no one is seeing it yet. It's not a good feeling.

    So yes, I do hate almost everything I write. But if I let that get to me, then I wouldn't have anything of which to be proud.

    Lisa Kilian

  56. Francesca on December 7, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    >I’m usually a quiet lurker, although I enjoy reading your blog very much, but just had to comment that the photograph made me howl with laughter. I have SO felt like that.

  57. Amy Sorrells on December 7, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    >I can’t look at any of my columns after they’re printed. I keep trying to start other books. I’m about to trade in my writing shoes for ledge-clinging-crampons. So yeah. And ew. And thanks.

  58. Jessie Andersen on December 7, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    >Great post. I this feel this about every other week. Perseverance and trusting that God has a plan are my only comforts.

  59. Jill on December 7, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    >After editing overhaul, I fell in love with my hated WIP again. And then another rejection came in and loved WIP has crashed into hatred once more. Will have to edit another until WIP and I are friends again. There comes a time when every WIP feels like a house of cards, ready to fall. How to sustain it?????

  60. Steven Till on December 7, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    >Absolutely. That’s why I trashed the first two versions of my novel, and basically started from scratch. Thanks for the encouraging post.

  61. Erica Vetsch on December 7, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    >Oh yes, I’m just now wriggling out of an entangling snare of self-doubt on this current ms.

  62. Christina Banks on December 7, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    >I have heard that voice… and it sounds an awful lot like my mother.

  63. Beth on December 7, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    >During rough drafts, I hear that inner editor voice in my head always. You’re right in that you just have to push on through and ignore it, and keep on fixing, polishing, etc. If you’re not willing to, you might as well quit writing altogether, because you’ll always have to face it.

  64. Erin MacPherson on December 7, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    >I’ve heard that voice (and in fact needed to be talked off the ledge by you and my husband and my mom and my sister and…). When I read my galley for the final time, I felt like every word was boring. Every joke fell flat. It felt overwritten. And annoying. And I hated it. I’m hoping once i see the REAL thing, I’ll feel better.

  65. Jillian Kent on December 7, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    >Yep. You’re right on the mark, Rachelle.I turned in my final revisions(on book one) to my editor on Sunday. Frequently, throughout the revision process I’d think, “Whatever made me think I could write?” If you have any interest on the emotion of turning this ms. into my editor please visit my blog today at http://jilliankent.blogspot.com/I titled it Incandescent Power. :)Rachelle’s right. Ignore the voice behind the curtain. I’d go further and say lock that voice up in a trunk, and throw away the key!

  66. LilySea on December 7, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    >I find that this is true of every kind of writing, throughout the process. One of my best writing teachers once told me that a roller-coaster of “I’m a genius!/I’m an idiot!” was normal writing life, and I have (mostly) not worried about it since.

  67. ed cyzewski on December 7, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    >This may sound a little crazy, but when that voice speaks up, I go to a blank page and try to tap out some ideas of where I’m trying to take my book and why it isn’t working. Sometimes looking away from the book itself can help lead to clarity on the next step forward.

  68. Timothy Fish on December 7, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    >I’m reminded of some of the contestants on American Idol. They have faced insecurity for years, doubting their singing ability, but through the encouragement of a friend they stand in line, hoping to make it through to see the judges. They’re ready to give up, but they push on. Then at last, they are standing in front of the judges. They still doubt their ability, but they open their mouths to sing and prove to the millions of viewers that they just aren’t that good. Sometimes we should listen to that voice.

  69. Flower Patch Farmgirl on December 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    >My husband is out of town and last night I emailed him saying, “Bad news – my book stinks.” Serendipitous, this post! 🙂 Thank you.

  70. Laura Maylene on December 7, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    >If someone has never heard that voice, not even once, I think I’d be worried about them!

  71. Joanne Sher on December 7, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    >ohhh yes! Thank you for this, Rachelle!

  72. Liberty Speidel on December 7, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    >Oh, yeah. I’ve definitely heard that voice! Right now, I’ve been steadily working on a book for about 4 – 5 years, with a few breaks, and there’s been many times I’m convinced it’s absolute rubbish. A couple of times, I’ve been so convinced, I’ve been on the verge of deleting the whole project.But I don’t. Thankfully. I’m almost to the point where I think it may just be ready for submissions, and while I’m really sick of the book, I’m pretty sure it’s not rubbish. At least this moment, I think that. 🙂 That’s something, right?

  73. Noelle Pierce on December 7, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    >I hear that voice now, even though I’m still in the querying process. Yet, I’ve gotten some good responses from agents about it. I keep thinking, “just wait until you see the *next* one. The story’s so much better.” Never mind that it’s not finished yet. But the one that’s finished, edited, and out there? Pure crap. Thanks for posting this. I wasn’t quite on the ledge, but this helped me regroup.

  74. Danielle (@Danisidhe) on December 7, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    >How do you “push through” without destroying your manuscript? When I get into this mood, if I keep going, I inevitably make logical, educated, well thought out but essentially robotic changes which simply aren’t necessary and are really just attempts to make the piece into another piece altogether. I have learned to “save as” whenever this mood strikes, so that I can roll back, but I wonder if perhaps I should just push away from the desk when I recognise the mood descending. Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

  75. Lisa Jordan on December 7, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    >Reason 1256734509 why you’re the best! I love that you are a great ledge-talker-downer for your clients. I don’t usually hate my books…yet, but quite often, I hate my writing. I may love the characters and the plot, but I struggle with getting what I envision in my head onto the screen. I’m sure I will get to a point of when I’m sick of the same story.Thanks for being a terrific voice of reason.

  76. E.J. Wesley on December 7, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    >This post couldn’t have been more timely! I’m going through that right now on edits for a WIP. I’ve worked on it for so long, and it just seems hopeless at times. Seriously going to tape this post to my wall in front of my desk, because I need to read it every day if ever going to finish this sucker!Thanks Rachelle!EJW

  77. Marla Taviano on December 7, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    >Yes. Every single time.

  78. Susan Bourgeois on December 7, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    >This is a great reminder. Wasn’t it Stephen King’s wife who fished the novel “Carrie” out of the trash can from what I recall?I think all of us, at times, have the voice of “insecurity” lurking in the background of our mind. People who reach success in writing are the people who manage to push through doubt and remain focused until they reach success.It’s just like anything in else in life…

  79. Keli Gwyn on December 7, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    >I hear voices. I love when it’s my Personal Cheerleader saying things like “You nailed that scene, girl” or “Check out that dialogue. It rocks!”Sadly, the voice I often hear is my Internal Editor spouting rubbish such as “You call this good writing?” or “Goody for you. That last chapter is total dreck.”When my dreaded IE gets down and dirty and is dissing me, I have to take action. I gag her, shove her out of my office, and close the door. She knocks, but I must choose not to answer. I repeat the mantra my younger siblings used to chant when I asserted my rights as the oldest: “You’re not the boss of me.” And then I cover my ears, stick out my tongue, and get back to work. Um, I mean I dust off my hands, give a sage nod, and resume writing.

  80. Choices on December 7, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    >Thank you for sharing this post. For someone who is an aspiring writer, not yet having something published, I found some encouragement to prevail. Thank you.Happy Holidays!

  81. RobynBradley on December 7, 2010 at 8:14 AM

    >Oh, yes. So true. Its evil twin’s voice — you know, the one that tells you that what you’re writing is brilliant — is just as dangerous. And attention should be paid to that voice.

  82. Wendy Paine Miller on December 7, 2010 at 8:12 AM

    >I remember when one of my novels had over seven opinions slapped on the first chapter. I grew to hate that chapter. I’d entered it in two contests and all my critique partners had looked it over and I also had another friend sift through it. I got so confused. And I learned a lesson.Here’s another reason I look forward to being agented–guidance with what to let go and what to stick with and power through.I laugh in the face of insecurity. Just wish he didn’t have such a gorgeous voice when he laughs back.~ Wendy

  83. Richard Mabry on December 7, 2010 at 7:56 AM

    >Great post, and one that most of us need to read from time to time. Many authors, especially those of us fortunate enough to have our work published, sometimes suffer from the imposter syndrome. (It’s a recognized psychological entity–“Hi, I’m Richard, and I don’t deserve this”). A great number of actors say they never watch their own movies–it’s too painful. When I dare look at my novels, I see things I’d like to change and errors that got by me and several editors. I think the best advice is that of Satchel Paige, ageless pitcher of bygone years: “Don’t look back. Somethin’ might be gainin’ on you.”

  84. Gwen Stewart on December 7, 2010 at 7:45 AM

    >Ummm….yes.And I’m SO GLAD I’m not alone. I always feel like an imposter in this writing business. What business do I have, writing all these books, editing and learning, when we all know my work is crrrr*py? ;-)**big sigh**

  85. Doppelgänger on December 7, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    >Timely post – I;m writing autobiographical narratives and at times am feeling overwhelmed with the history of my own life. I am realising taking breaks cane be as good a thing as keeping a writing schedule.

  86. Michelle Kollar on December 7, 2010 at 7:24 AM

    >I seriously thought, “Few, I’m not the only one.”Can I say, I love this post! Thank you for all the inspiration.

  87. PurpleMist. on December 7, 2010 at 7:07 AM

    >I think I’ve been hearing that voice for the past week or so, I’m avoiding my novel as much as I can. But after reading this post I realised I need to ignore the voice and keep going. Thank you 🙂

  88. Anne Gallagher on December 7, 2010 at 6:43 AM

    >I start hating my book around the third draft of revisions. If it ever gets picked up, they’ll need quite a few people to talk me off the ledge. Thanks Rachel.

  89. Christine Danek on December 7, 2010 at 6:22 AM

    >This voice has been talking to me a lot, lately. Thanks for the encouragement.

  90. KO on December 7, 2010 at 5:55 AM

    >This is not the first time you’ve posted something right at the moment I needed to hear it. THANK YOU!

  91. Katie Ganshert on December 7, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    >I’m preparing myself for the inevitable moment. This already happens to me and I’ve yet to work with an editor and go through all those many stages of editing. I revise and rework my rough drafts and go from thinking it’s my best work ever, to rereading it and thinking it’s the worst thing ever. I’ll be reading it and scoffing at my work. It’s not pretty.

  92. Timothy Fish on December 7, 2010 at 5:48 AM

    >Maybe there really is something to be said for writing without a contract. Once a book has gotten past the first draft, I’ve never hated any of my books. I’ve got one that I’m redoing right now that I think people will have an easier time identifying with after I’m done, but I still like the original version. Even so, I can imagine that, if I were under contract pressure, I might reach a point where I feared my work was terrible too.

  93. Bonnie R. Paulson on December 7, 2010 at 5:16 AM

    >Thanks, yes, this helps alot. That voice is the same one that supports all the eating. I wonder if it doesn’t want what’s best for me? Hmmm.

  94. 21tiger.com on December 7, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    >Hilarious. 😛 Sometimes it feels like a total grind, but it feels good to share it with people, let that carry you through to the end

  95. Meagan Spooner on December 7, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    >Yes. What a relief to read this. (It may or may not have made me cry…)

  96. Nicolette on December 7, 2010 at 3:34 AM

    >Ah, yes, the ‘crows of doubt’. Ignore ’em. They’re always circling.

  97. Lazi on December 7, 2010 at 3:10 AM

    >So glad I found this post! I’m up late editing one of my chapters down to 1500 words for a short story contest and it’s making me think all the other chapters must have 3000 superfluous words in them! Considering laying down to cry for a week, to cleanse my eyes and get ’em ready for the year’s worth of editing that’s shrouding my future. 🙂

  98. Nerine Dorman on December 7, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    >Oh, I can so relate to this feeling. I’ve had it every time I’ve gone through the galley for one of my novels. I ask myself, “What was my publisher thinking?” but by then it’s already too late. But I’ve had good responses from my readers, so I can’t be all bad!

  99. loriG on December 7, 2010 at 2:34 AM

    >Thank you Rachelle for your perfect timing. I’m editing now, and am at that stage, questioning every “that” and “just”, and every word in between. Wondering if anyone will fall in love with the characters and ride out the crazy journey they are on along with them. Editing slow and careful,fearful of what my beta readers will say, knowing while I put this book to bed, I am plotting out the next one. So I can fall “in hate” all over again.

  100. Laurel Kriegler on December 7, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    >I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  101. Pippa Jay on December 7, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    >Thanks so much for this post – that’s exactly how I’ve felt and it’s a relief to know it’s normal. 🙂