Lessons Learned While Writing: I’m Not As Good As I Think I Am (aka Humility)

I had started writing in a way many in that genre write, from an omniscient narrator perspective which meant I’d hop from one character’s thoughts and experiences to another without pause. Well, if older writers could do it, why not me?

Oh, how wonderful I thought my first book was, until I began to get the critiques back. What was head-hopping? What do you mean I have too may points of view? What is a point of view anyway?

Because that was then and this is now. I read, and got feedback and I rewrote the book taking out one character as it was too long. Then I rewrote it again with only two points of view. I revised it another time sparsely adding the point of view a villain who appears in subsequent books to give it a darker, more suspenseful tone. Instead of writing a lighthearted Regency-era romance, my novels were more Gothic!

Every time I write a story there is a mixture of pride and fear mixed into the process. Will it be good enough? Will the story resonate with readers?

Sometimes I wonder if big sales have eluded me because I’m poor at marketing or because God is protecting me from pride—that erroneous belief that I wrote those books and I’m wonderful.

I did write them—with God’s help and that of others. And I am wonderful, as a child of God which means I’m also a flawed human being.

Every round of edits can bring up fears of not being good enough. But in reality, I’ll never be good enough. I can only hope to grow to be better than the last book I wrote.

My daughter told me not to worry: “You’ll be famous when you’re dead.” I laughed. Guess I’m not in a hurry to be famous then because I have a lot more living to do should the Lord allow me to remain here.

Sometimes I wonder when it will end. Writers don’t really “retire,” so as long as I have the ability and the imagination, I suppose I’ll keep writing, and leave fame in the hands of God.

What projects do you struggle with to find humility? What works for you to keep you from wallowing in self-pity or puffing yourself up too much?

2 thoughts on “Lessons Learned While Writing: I’m Not As Good As I Think I Am (aka Humility)

  1. Oh, how true. I had the pleasure of being in Susan’s fiction writers class last year. Naturally, I had all the answers after that class and went headlong into my book writing. My friends thought I was doing a great job. I thought I was doing a great job. Then Susan was kind enough to review it for me. OUCH! I mean, VERY BIG OUCH! But I’m still writing and will continue to write by God’s grace. Please continue to keep me humble, Susan. And thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are very welcome. It is sometimes easier to bear the criticism when it comes from someone you know is on your side, in your corner, cheering you on. Being honest is the best gift and it helps you grow. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

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