Yes, I'm ripping off the veil of shame and admitting something I don't think a lot of authors feel comfortable acknowledging (at least where readers are present) - sometimes I hate my work. Actually, hating my work is more the norm than liking it, especially when I've just finished a book. There's something about doing edits that makes me think I suck. Even though I know intellectually everyone has to revise and that my publishers did not buy my latest manuscript simply to be nice to me, sometimes I wonder what I'm doing thinking I have any business being a writer. But because I know this is my process and usually the book's not nearly as suckrageous as I think, I try to do my best and press on, as if the thing I'm now editing is not a pile of steaming…well, I'll leave you to finish that statement. ;)
With the book I submitted in January, something miraculous transpired. Finally, a book I did not hate! I kept waiting for the hate to creep over me as it always does in the days, weeks, months after submission, but nothing. Two months passed and I received a contract and I still liked it! Surely I'd turned a corner.
Then I got edits.
Suddenly my favorite book ever to write, with my favorite ever characters, had done me wrong. It had blinded me to its many, many faults. What was I thinking, liking this one best?
But I'm editing it anyway, to the best of my ability and with my wise editor's guidance. And I'm hoping that the beta readers/CPs who read it weren't lying when they said they loved it.
I submitted another book last week. I still love it. But this time, I'm not fooled. I'm waiting for the creep o' hate to begin any day now…
Part of my problem is I'm a perfectionist. I always think everything can be better. Which is a good thing, in that I keep trying and learning. But I also know that my perfectionism sometimes colors my perceptions so at certain times I need to trust others' opinions more than my own.
Do you ever hate your work? Or strongly dislike it, even temporarily? I have a successful author friend who doesn't understand this, as she never hates hers. So is it just me?