Tuesday, September 6, 2011
A Hell Of A Catch
Here is the problem.
I have begun work on the eleventh draft of the novel.
The last two drafts stalled out after the first act due to my lack of confidence in my work.
Here is the Catch-22 of my situation:
This work is so odd, and so personal, that I have come to be very, very sensitive about it. Critiques that fail to understand what I'm doing have become actually painful for me to deal with.
This is not how I think of myself reacting to criticisms. I have an iron hide, damnit!
But I don't. Not now. This book is an open wound, and I'm stitching it shut by writing it. I don't need anyone poking around in there!
If I don't get regular feedback and praise, I lose confidence, my will to perform shrivels, and I work less and less, and then...
It looks kind of gross to me, but there it is. I need to figure out how to get regular doses of praise that will keep me interested in working on the novel, while not getting any critiques that trigger my overdeveloped defensiveness about the quality of my work.
Here is one thought.
At this point, I've written a volume's work of short fiction. Short fiction does not sell; publishers do not like it.
I'm very curious about self-publication.
Perhaps I should start going through my back catalog, revising weak works and compiling strong ones, and put together a collection. Do a story every week, every other week, while I work on the novel.
But what if I can't do both at the same time? What if interactions based on the short fiction don't bring energy to the novel?
I've got to do something. Any ideas?