First round of edits on my as-yet untitled novella are finished! On the one hand, I feel very happy with my story, and I am excited to pass it on to my husband for the next round of edits. And on the other hand, I am fighting the typical post-creative process of wanting to rip it up in a million pieces and never show anyone. Opening myself up and being vulnerable is exactly what I need to do in order to share my work with the world, but I’ve got my inner critic working in full force now telling me that my work isn’t worth sharing.
Hence where my husband comes in next with the process. We are so brutally honest with each other (and let me tell you, that can get uncomfortable) that if he thinks this story isn’t ready yet, he will tell me. I’ve done the same for him in the past. We try to be as kind and loving about it as possible, and we know that bottom line, the decision rests upon us as individual artists, but we push each other to be better. And for that, I am eternally grateful to him. But even so, even though he holds a piece of my soul in his heart and I trust my husband as I trust myself, my inner critic is trying to manipulate me into not going on to this next stage. Yet I do so. Humbly, cautiously, I am moving forward.
The creative person walks a fine line of being confident and being crippled by doubt. I personally feel like I have stories to tell, songs to sing, and art to make. I’ve got a lot of raw talent, but my perfectionist inclinations are what my inner critic preys upon, that my talent may never be honed to “expert” levels. But I move forward anyway, because I refuse to be a prisoner to my own perfectionism. Because no level of achievement will ever make me a “success” in my own eyes, so I may as well put my work out anyway.
Next step, going over the edits my husband suggests, finally deciding on a title, and tentatively working on a cover. Then a couple of more edits, giving it off to a copy editor, and my little novella will be ready for the world. I’m getting closer.