Today I finally finished a beta draft of THE INFERNAL FAMILY.
I’ve revised from start to finish. Axed storylines. Added characters. Rewritten huge sections from scratch. And when I read through a final time and found myself changing only the punctuation, I knew I was done.
I suffer from writers’ fear. I fear that my work isn’t good enough. I fear that if I think it’s good, I’ll be disappointed. I fear showing my work to people that I respect in case it causes them to realise I’m an idiot. But I’m learning to ignore those fears - and I hit that button and mailed out the beta version to the first of my wonderful beta readers, my amazing writer friend Amy. And I’m glad I did.
In the meantime, as always in the terrifying gap between submitting work and receiving feedback, I’m remembering my five commandments for scared writers:
1. Good enough is fine. Perfect is for later.
2. Everything can be fixed.
3. This is the millionth draft. There will be a millionth-and-one.
4. People still love me even if they don't love my work.
5. At least it's spelled correctly.
(Dear beta version of THE INFERNAL FAMILY,
Hi there. I’ve waited a long time to meet you.
I know you’re not perfect. There are things I wanted to do with you that I couldn’t pull off, and scenes that still clunk after a million revisions. But there are things about you I love - things that made you worth working on. And if I wait for you to be perfect, I’ll be waiting forever.
So I’m declaring you officially ... good enough.
Go play with your beta readers.