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My Emotional Reaction to My First Rewrites

In my last post, I discussed some of the specific details of my rewrites. As I mentioned, I spoke with my editor for over an hour, discussing all of the concerns. Before we hung up, my editor said, "I hope I didn't discourage you too much with all of this information."

My mind was reeling in overload mode and I don't remember my mumbled reply. It was probably something like, "I just hope I can fix everything and get my book the best it can be."

Her final comment was, "We believe in you, Jody. We think you're capable of making the changes. Call me anytime you need to discuss anything further."

As I hung up the phone, I took a deep shuddering breath and pressed my knuckles against my forehead. "Oh, Lord. Oh, Lord. Wow. I want to cry!"

A deluge of doubt and despair pounded upon me. I slumped down in front of my laptop. Through my threatening tears, the pages of my notes blurred together in a disorderly mess of scribbles.

Even though I'd braced myself for the difficulty of the rewriting process, I was completely unaware at how inadequate I'd feel when I finally got the edits.

The dark thoughts came swiftly and suddenly. Why had Bethany House contracted me in the first place? I just knew they were regretting their decision, but now it was too late to back out of our contract. In fact maybe they'd chosen me because they like my agent and just wanted to make her happy.

They surely hadn't contracted me because of my skill. Not with so many things wrong with my book. Even if my editor had complimented me on a number of positive things, maybe she'd just said those things to be nice, to make the hard things easier to swallow.

I'm baring everything today. . . yes, those were really my thoughts in the initial hours after I got my rewrites. When my husband walked in the door after work, he rushed the kids out of the house and took them to Burger King for dinner. He gave me the gift of blessed silence. I could wallow to my heart's content and try to make sense of what I'd gotten myself into.

Was I really cut out to be an author? Was I capable of doing what they wanted me to do? I just didn't know.

At that particular moment of self-despair, one of my blogging friends, Jill Kemerer emailed me. In my response I told her about getting my rewrites and I shared my doubts. Here's her response:

Don't despair!! This is normal!! My published writer friends all had pages and pages of revision requests, and guess what? They all have books on the shelves. It's okay! Don't forget--you're a very talented writer. Rachelle Gardner decided to represent you and she has thousands of queries every year. She does not take on many clients. And Bethany House loved this book enough to buy it.

Her email brought fresh tears to my eyes. Thanks Jill! And thanks to everyone else, too, for your words of encouragement! I can't tell you how much I needed it!

But I also needed my agent to step in and give me a firm, but loving shake. When I bemoaned my rewrite experience to her, she gave me the no-nonsense feedback that we all love so much about her blog. Here's what Rachelle said:

I know you'll survive the editorial process. It's hard but I know you can do it. Let me know if there's any way I can help you specifically. I have authors whose novels haven't sold yet and I'm putting them through their editorial paces. I always say, "Be glad you're not experiencing the revision process for the first time while under contract and deadline!" But for you I say, "Be glad you have a contract, and get to work!"

I'm not very far into my rewrite process yet. But I'm realizing that maybe things aren't quite as bad as they first seemed--maybe I'm not such a horrible writer after all. I'm organizing my thoughts for the changes, and I'm starting to feel more hopeful.

And most importantly, I'm trying to remind myself of the blessings. I need to remember how far I've already journeyed and how much God has blessed my efforts over the past six months.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with doubts about your writing ability? How do you keep the negatives of the writing journey from discouraging you? Do you remember to count your blessings? If so, I'd love to hear some of them!

63 comments:

  1. Wow, Jody. I feel like this about every day these days. You're definitely not alone.

    BUT, YOU are an amazing writer. You've got a gift of perseverance and an amazing talent with words.

    I've loved how open you've been with the writing process this week. I think every single aspiring novelist needs to read your posts. And writers with dreams won't be discouraged, but encouraged by the fact that it is hard work, but worth it in the end.

    Thanks again, Jody. Happy Friday. I hope your family is on the mend and that you've continued to fight it off.

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  2. I love your honesty, Jody! I admire and appreciate your willingness to share openly and honestly about your experienc as you travel down this road.

    I suffer from doubt all the time. It's comforting to know that I'm not alone in my doubt. I have good days, where I adopt Debbie Macomber's attitude of positive thinking and really embrace it. But I have quite a few bad days, where I think my writing is crap. That I'm no good. That this writing dream will never happen for me. I think this doubt comes with the territory. But I also think we don't need to wallow in it.

    We have a God who erases all fear and doubt. He gave us a passion to pen stories. He's leading me down my path and you down yours. There's immense comfort in this: God's grace will never lead us where His hand cannot keep us. Trust in His hand, Jody, and before you know it, your rewrites will be done and your book will be on a shelf! And you'll be that much more experienced as a writer.

    Plus, nobody promised our journeys would be easy. I've come to the realization that the things in life that are most gratifying, are those things that are most difficult.

    Hope your family is getting better! Prayers to you as you continue your rewrites!!

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  3. Jody, thanks for being so honest and sharing all that. I was wondering how I would feel in your shoes and I didn't think I would feel very positive. I think I too would have felt inadequate, perhaps even squashed by all the direction, and wondered about my abilities. I am glad you have such great support and such a wonderful agent who can bring you back to the reality that you are talented and can do this. That is great. You go girl! I can't wait to buy the book :)

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  4. Jody,
    Thanks for your honesty. You're working on edits against a deadline, while I'm still gnawing my fingernails waiting for edits from my editor. And I know that when they come, I'll probably feel the way you're feeling now. I feel a lot of it already. Hang in there. You'll make it. Hopefully, so will I. But it's frustrating, isn't it?

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  5. Good for you, Jody! It's all true, it's just that it's new for you. There will be this period of adjustment when you have to adapt. And you'll succeed by working hard, and doing one of the things we know you do best - write!

    Have a great weekend, and know we support you.

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  6. *hugs* You got such great advice, girl, and thanks so much for sharing your experience!! I felt similar when I got my first ever real *critique* GEEZ, Am I THAT bad, I thought?

    Unfortunately, UNLIKE YOU, I was at the time. *grin* But everyone is right. God put you where you are for a reason, and HE knows you can do it.

    SO go get em!

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  7. Oh Jody! My stomach knotted up, and a couple tears dripped in your name. I felt that overwhelming feeling because you described it so well.

    That's how I know you are "not such a horrible writer after all."

    Because when you spill your guts, mine spill, too.

    And when you speak encouragement, I feel encouraged and inspired.

    I hope I can do as well.

    Hugs and thanks,
    Sandy

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  8. I really appreciate your honesty, and I have a small idea of how daunting rewrites can be. When I hired a freelance editor to go over my manuscript and then I got her feedback, I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. She had great things to say to begin with, but the I couldn't believe the things she wanted me to change ... or add ... or take away from the story. Because I had no idea what I was doing, it took me quite a while to figure out how to do what she asked. But the manuscript is much better for it.

    I think you're doing just what you should do. Mourn and wallow a little bit and then dig in.

    Hope everyone in your house is getting better!

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  9. It's not doubt that gets me down, but the lack of concentrated time and lots on my plate that threaten to unhinge me. But, we'll make it. Just take one bite of the poop pie at a time. :)

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  10. I think anyone in a creative field experiences the doubt. Am I good enough? You are allowed to wallow, but at some point, you just have to pull up your big girl panties and get on with it. This is easier said than done (-;

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  11. When that happens, I often immerse myself in the words and writing, such that there's no time or energy left for doubts. Writing is truly a team effort, and it sounds like you're on a great team!

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  12. Jody, you are sweet spirit. We are all suppose to love everyone, but loving some people is easier than others. You are one of those people. God has given you such an amazing ability to write.

    The scripture comes to mind, "he who has begun a good work in you will complete it.."

    God is not finished with you yet. There are too many people waiting to read your book and don't even know it.

    The doubt I face is just a diversion to try and get me off track. I may not be where I want to be today, but I won't stop writing to get there. And neither will you!

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  13. I had knots in stomach, tears in my eyes and shaking with fear for you when you began to share the overwhelming initial emotional response to the editing process. But then I rejoiced with you with all the encouraging words that were shared by agent and friend. And I am impressed on how far you've come since I first "met" you. I'm thankful for you sharing all this journey with us. And I believe that God has great plans to prosper you with success in all you write.

    Bunches of hugs headed your way!

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  14. Dark thoughts come that way, don't they? Swiftly and suddenly. I appreciate your authenticity in this post. This is part of the journey. I have felt it. I'm feeling something akin to doubt now, but I need to spend more time with God to figure out what it is.

    I also believe in you, Jody. And Jill is one of the most professional and kind people I've "met" online.

    The best way I've learned to deal with the dark, ugly thoughts is to pray and to write through them.

    Again, thanks for your honesty.
    ~ Wendy

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  15. Oh you make all this so real for us, Jody. I wanted to cry with you as I read your words. I probably would have reacted the exact same way. I didn't even realize there would be all the rewrites asked of a writer under contract. But sounds like you are surrounded by people who believe in your talent --and you have that for sure or you woudln't have gotten that contract! I can't wait to hold your book in my hands!
    I feel doubts now as I wait for a rejection from the publishing house that has my book. I check the mail each day and try to be thankful no letter has come yet.

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  16. Jody, Jill is such a Godsend. I love that woman! She is definitely a God instrument.

    I know the feeling of overwhelmingness. Feel it often with my own self-imposed goals/challenges. All I can suggest is to break it down to as small of increments as possible, and celebrate when you accomplish each little piece. It helps to see things ticked off a list, too!

    I'm praying for you, Jody! God brought you this far, He's not going to abandon you!!

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  17. Thanks for your honesty, Jody.

    I often feel like this when it comes to my book. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I'm looking at the entire project, and on some days it only takes a chapter. A few times I've come home from meetings with my critique group and thought, how on earth am I going to incorporate these suggestions? How am I going to make this work and keep true to what I want to do with this story?

    Have you ever read Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird? The main thing I got out of that book is the concept that she used for her title -- that you have to take everything "bird by bird" (you'll get it if you read it). In other words, piece by piece, character by character, sentence by sentence, even word by word.

    To keep myself from getting overwhelmed, I make lists. Right now I have a list of the chapters I need to finish in order to complete a draft of my book. It's a huge list, written on a white board next to my desk. And each time I finish one, I erase it, so the list gets smaller. In this way, the task feels manageable.

    You can do it! Find your way to make the task manageable. Break it down, word by word (or bird by bird). We're all rooting for you!

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  18. Thank you for being so honest! I wasn't sure if you'd feel this way, but it makes me feel better. :-P Not a very nice thing, right? But I've felt the way you did, even without a contract, and it's a horrible feeling. Thank goodness God put wonderful friends/agent in your life to help. :-)
    If it makes you feel better, I know someone who got a detailed revision letter like that, but NO contract. At least you have that contract. My friend could make all the changes the pub house requests and still get a rejection. *shudder*

    I haven't read your writing but I bet it's wonderful! You're right. They're not going to give you money if they don't want what you're offering. :-)

    I'm assuming you're feeling better now? *giant hug!*

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  19. I know several authors who had to completely overhaul a book. It's really overwhelming at first, but then you start getting little ideas on how to fix it. You're doing a great job and are a fantastic writer. And--believe me--Bethany House is appreciating your cooperation with them. So many writers are NOT that easy to work with.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  20. Dearest Jody,
    Someone once said we are spiritual beings having a human experience. You had a very human reaction to unsettling and disturbing information. Now that you've had a chance to assimilate it, logic can take over for where emotion ruled. The truth is, neither the agent or Bethany House would have taken you on if you weren't a talented writer. You are more than capable of making editorial changes in your manuscript. When an editor makes suggestions, it doesn't mean you aren't a good writer. It means the manuscript can be improved. So hang in there. And when the self-doubt creeps in, what I do is shout, "self-doubt, move out."
    Karen

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  21. Aw, Jody! Wish I could hug you!

    You've chosen a difficult profession. :) But it's one of the most rewarding ones in the world. I experience feelings of dread, anxiety, insecurity, inadequacy ALL the time (well, not constantly). Writing and speaking are HARD (and not getting easier), but YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES YOU STRENGTH.

    My advice? Go to your room. Get face-down on the floor. Say, "God, I can't do this. I don't have it in me. I need you. Desperately. Fill me with your Spirit. Give me words."

    Praying for you today!

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  22. Jody, thank you so much for posting this!!! I doubt myself ALL THE TIME. It seems like every little bump on the road to publication causes me to question whether or not I am capable of writing. At first I imagined these doubts would depart once I got an agent. They didn't. Now I'm pretty sure they will follow me throughout the entire publication process and beyond. This is why it's so important to have people who believe in us--people who can remind us that we can do it.

    It sounds like you have wonderful people in your corner. You can do this. You are obviously VERY talented or you wouldn't have got a publishing deal. I hope your rewrites go well and make your book the best it can be.

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  23. Like the others, I say thanks for being vulnerable and telling it like it is. We're human (and we're women!) so emotional reactions are normal and part of how we're wired. All that nervous energy from waiting to hear what they'd say? Well, it had to find a release somehow.

    The most important thing is not HOW you react but what you do afterward. I heard someone once say "Cry a river then build a bridge and get over it." So, roll up your sleeves, pull out your notes, make a plan, and get to work.

    And, on the bad days, just remember that you really wanted to be a writer! *grin*

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  24. Definitely. Too often, actually. I'm in a re-editing/re-writing stage write now it is can be so overwhelming. And the thing about critique, whether from an actual editor or a writing friend, is that (no matter how well intentioned or constructively conveyed) can be difficult to hear. But Jill is so right--you can do this! You are a great writer and have so many people in the business and out who believe in you! I can't wait to see your book on the shelves!

    I think what you said is so important: you took time. Time really can help us get a grip on our emotions that are spinning out of control, can give us the space to think through the changes we need to make and build a new schema for them. It can calm us down. Sounds like you have a wonderful husband who knows exactly what you need.

    Have a great weekend, Jody!

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  25. Thank you for sharing that... glad to know I won't be alone when it happens to me!

    I remember having a ballet teacher who used to pick on me all the time in class... and then at some point I figured out that, the more criticism she gave you, the better she thought you were. She didn't waste her time trying to fix a student's technique unless she believed that the student would rise to the challenge, and would be better for it. It was, in fact, a huge compliment to have her riding me like that.

    You're the picked-on kid in ballet right now, Jodi. And it means you're one of the best.

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  26. Every thouhgt you had is normal and what any normal person would feel. Sometimes just getting it out there and sharing it, breaks its hold of fear/rejection over your mind. Hugs, :O)

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  27. Doubt is such a nasty, insiduous thing, isn't it? And it can strike in good times as well as bad.

    Having survived my first major rewrite a couple months ago, I felt so accomplished. The editors were pleased and priased my efforts. Then I started writing my next book. And it stunk. I rewrote the first two chapters twice before I could stand to move on. I was sure I would never be able to write as well as I did in the first book (the one with 8 pages of suggestions for rewrites). I still battle this fear.

    So, you see, doubt not only strikes after bad news - it can strike after good news, too. Slowly, I'm learning to recognize it as one of those darts the devil is so fond of slinging. We've got to hold on to our shields of faith, tighter and with more confidence, to extinguish those flaming arrows. And remember, our confidence is not in ourselves and our abilities, but in God's ability to work through us.

    Jody, God is working through your editors to help you craft the book he designed for you to write - the one that will touch hearts and inspire souls in his kingdom. It will be a blessing in the end.

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  28. Jody, you are in the middle of a grueling process. Did you read Billy Coffey's guest post about the middles? I think everything you're experiencing is totally normal, and isn't it a nice thought to know you are not the first, by any means, to go through it? Sometimes, just accepting where you're at can free you to move through it to the other side. And inevitably, as Billy pointed out, you'll find yourself in another middle place in time. We keep moving from beginning to middle to end and over again. It's all good. I just thank God for blogging. What a great way for us to share our burdens and receive encouragement. I hope you've felt that today.

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  29. Jody,

    First time to comment but I've followed your blog for a while now. Thank you for taking time to blog. It helps me so much as I think about the future possibilities for my own story.

    Overwhelmed? DAILY! Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking writing a memoir? Do I have any idea what I'm doing? How can chase a dream when my reality is more than I can handle already?

    The enemy is very clever in the way he whispers to us in our own voices.
    He wants to keep those stories surpressed.

    When I am overwhelmed I listen for that other voice. I am blessed to have such a beautiful story and I will work to share it. But overwhelmed? Yes all the time!

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  30. Jody,

    Your honesty is refreshing. Thank you for letting us know exactly what you've gone through. It lets us know that we're not crazy (or at least, not alone :) I have battled with revisions, just the little ones offered from friends who have read my drafts. I cannot imagine how it feels to be told to do a complete overhaul.

    However, Jill is right. You have talent and dedication and a wonderful voice! You can do this. The encouragement you are bringing to the rest of us is priceless. When the day comes for my own work to be published (crosses fingers), I will remember these posts and remember that it's ok to cry (read: pitch a fit) but I have to grow up, suck it up, and do what's necessary to get my gift out into the world.

    Happy weekend and good luck with those revisions!
    Jen

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  31. Oh yeah, nothing like macro edits to make you ask yourself all kinds of crazy things.

    Then God brings people like Jill and Rachelle into your life with just the right amount of encouragement and stern talking to that you need, and things don't look so dark.

    Bigtime Husband Points for the DH for getting the kidlets out from underfoot so you could wallow for a bit and get sorted out.

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  32. There's no way they'd ask someone they thought couldn't handle the work to do all those major changes. Who else but a professional author would be able to handle that type of revisions? The very fact they asked you to do all those things speaks to their absolute faith in your ability as a writer - so kudos to you! You've arrived (even if it doesn't quite feel like it)!

    I think we all have doubts. And it's important to acknowledge them. Then it's time to dust ourselves off and get back to work - because that's what we do. :-)

    Best of luck to you with those revisions...I'm looking forward to reading your book!

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  33. but see... this is why. even you account of this experience is raw and vivid. i have no doubt things will go swimmingly.

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  34. Jody, you have a wonderful ability to express yourself on the page. That's what makes you such a good storyteller and undoubtedly what your agent, publisher and editor have seen. Everyone has doubts, but what you also have, in addition to your talent, is resilience and determination and faith. Nobody goes from initial submission to successful career in one easy step. The writing took work; the revisions will take work; the promotion and marketing will also take work. But it's all part of making your early dreams become reality. When you're feeling overwhelmed remember that God is leading the way. He knows you can do this -- he wouldn't have brought you this far if he thought you couldn't -- and he'll give you strength as you need it. You'll get everything done. Just tackle it one step, one word, one prayer at a time. Blessings!

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  35. Jody, I was thinking the same thing as what Carol just said. The way you express yourself on your blog indicates what a wonderful writer you are. As I said yesterday--and both Bethany House and Rachelle Gardner confirmed--it's about your talent. They believe in you. Remember that when you have trouble believing in yourself.

    How do you revise a manuscript? One word at a time.

    BTW, on that doubt thing. EVERY single day.

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  36. I am so honored to have been in the right place and the right time for you--but I can't take credit. Sometimes God just nudges me to e-mail my friends and you were it.

    I've also been blessed to be friends with several published authors and they have filled me in on the publishing process. Honestly, everyone gets revisions. It's nothing personal!

    Thank you so much for sharing your ups and downs with us, Jody. When you type in the final revision, you're going to look at that masterpiece in your hand and feel the biggest sense of accomplishment, because you've given it everything you have.

    Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you again.

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  37. I'm one of Rachelle's clients going through the editorial process without a contract. Talk about having doubts about your ability! This is one of the most difficult things I've done in my life. A novel is so incredibly complex, and it seems I'm losing pieces of mine as I try to put others back together.

    Even worse is the unrelenting doubt. Part of it I need to overcome. Part of it I refuse to overcome. Truth is truth. The truth is that this is one tough business, the capriciousness of which I cannot deny. Many books never get published; many published books do reasonably well. Many never make mid-list. Some tank completely. I don't find it helpful to deny these truths. I must look them in the eye, refuse to blink, and keep writing. It's not about "positive thinking" for me. It's about fortitude.

    I think--I hope--I have the fortitude to make this. At this point, I'm right where you are, Jody.

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  38. I too appreciate your honesty, Jody!! Hey, I'm one of Rachelle's clients whose novel hasn't sold, but she did suggest I go through a major edit with one of the many great freelance editors I know. I'll go ahead and tell you exactly how many individual editorial comments I responded to in revisions: 1500!!!! I thought I would die, but I did not die. So I must be stronger, right?? One can only hope.....

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  39. Doubt? All the time. I have shamefully even let it cripple my writing for a time.

    Your post is very timely for me. I've just faced the fact that my novel needs a complete rewrite before it will be query-ready. I am up to the task. Now if only I could nail down the structural and narrative voice issues, all would be good.

    Best of luck with your edits and revisions. People in this business wouldn't believe in the value of your work if it didn't deserve it. You can do this!

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  40. Thanks for sharing. Doubts often creep into my mind. They're hard to push away, but I try and stay focused.
    For you, I'd say focus on the fact you have a contract - people like what you wrote, even if they need it changed a little. :)

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  41. Jody, I can completely relate. One afternoon this very week I was completely doubting my abilities as a writer, even questioning the desires I feel God's given me to pursue writing.

    A few friends--mostly writers--came around and helped buck me up. I tried to remember all the compliments I've been given in the last few years where my writing's concerned--from writers and non-writers alike. Those that knew where my struggles were coming from advised me to take a break for the rest of the day. I did. And the next day, I finished my 6th draft. :)

    It's hard to remember all the good things when you feel like you're at the bottom of a well. It's great to have fellow writers--and in your case, an agent!--to surround you and remind you of your strengths even when faced with major hurdles that challenge you.

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  42. Jody: You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself on paper. I pray that you would find exactly the right words to replace what needs to be changed. God knows your heart and He is our help in times of need. Ask, seek and knock and He will respond to your heart's question."What do I write here...

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  43. Hey Jody,

    I've never been agented or had to go through an editorial revision process. But I do know that many times, I have finished a novel to realize it needs major revisions. I understand how intense the discouragement can be.

    After your question about how we handle doubts and revisions, the first thing that came into my mind was, I focus on the vision. These editors have a passion and vision for where they think your book should go. If you can see the vision for yourself, of bringing your book to that next level, it will help drive you. This is what I always do. It makes it exciting again, as if I'm working toward something, not against it.

    I hope that little nugget helps you someway. God bless, miss Jody.

    -Mandy

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  44. You're almost there. Just think of it as a diamond ring that needs a little dip and scrub in the cleaning solution. The diamond isn't flawed, but we just need to find its inner brilliance. They wouldn't have signed you if they didn't think you could do it.

    You can do it! :)

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  45. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your experience about your rewrite challenge. I also appreciate the fact that you shared it since it is a bit of an insight for me into the world of rewrites, since I am not yet a published author. Thanks for sharing this.

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  46. Jody,
    Thanks for sharing this experience so open and honestly. I can not imagine the pressure you felt. I've begun major rewrites based on crit partners feedback, and I'm overwhelmed. I put it off for weeks because I felt incapable of doing it. I finally started, though, and I'm finding myself much more capable than I thought.

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  47. Thanks so much for sharing all that you did about the rewrites and your emotions. I have doubts all of the time and I am scared to death when I think about trying to find an agent and publisher. I just keep reminding myself that I love the writing process and then I get back to work!

    Best of luck to you on your rewrites. You can do it - just picture your book when it is sitting on the shelf! ;-)

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  48. Remembering my life outside of and beyond writing is what helps me the most. This must be why William Zinsser says, "make sure you're living the life you want to live."

    Your life should be strength for your writer's bones. Recently,I have started having two quiet times a day instead of one. It's nothing fancy. Just a second quiet space, a pause in my afternoon, where I stop to acknowledge God and speak with him. I have noticed that my relationship with him and my creativity both flow from my heart.
    That's where the strength to endure and the ability to hope comes from as well.

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  49. Hi Jody -

    Do I ever doubt my abilities? How about every day? I'm on chapter 14 of my new manuscript and wondering if this is any good at all.

    Then, I hit my head. Of course I can't do this on my own, but only by His grace.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  50. I didn't read all the comments (too many :) most likely someone has already said this... You are going to make it! Believe it! You do have what it takes! And to answer your questions, re:doubt/fear? I actually posted something along those lines today... guess we were on the same train of thought.
    Big Hug for whenever you need it!

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  51. Great! Now I'm scared!

    Just kidding.

    Seriously, though, you are amazing. If you weren't, Rachelle wouldn't have taken a chance on you. If you weren't, Bethany House wouldn't have taken a chance on you. And they certainly wouldn't have offered you a three-book-deal. They read your novel before they offered you anything. They knew what they were getting into and they still wanted you.

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  52. Jody, I would have had the same doubts as you. Isn't it amazing how soon we can deflate? Writers rise and fall on the words of others all too often. I think you are going to rise to the occasion and shine. SO many wonderful people believe in you, hone in on that. Jill really said it best.

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  53. Hi Jody. I'm enjoying browsing through your posts -- my mom (careann.wordpress.com) reads your blog and recommended it. :)

    Thanks for sharing your honest reactions about rewrites. I recently did a major rewrite for my agent, and for sure I could relate to some of your thoughts!

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  54. Jody,
    I am sending a mountain of hugs your way. Can you feel them? Every thought you described after you finished with the editor was so close to home. Your very description and my being able to identify with every emotion tells me you ARE and excellent writer.
    Remember they have so much faith in you, they wanted 3 of your books. No test runs here... but instead, an undeniable belief in your God-given ability to tell a story. Send the devil of doubt out the door forevermore!

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  55. Jody, thank you for your honesty. This is a great help to those of us who have not gotten to where you are. Knowing that the feelings of inadequacy are normal is helpful.
    Thank you for being willing to take us with you on this journey.
    Diane

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  56. I left you an award at my blog....as a fellow writer, I just want to encourage you; you inspire those of us who long to be published authors some day.:) Hang in there!

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  57. Dear Jody ...

    Oh, honey, move over!! :) I have cried buckets on each of three books and now I'm crying on the fourth, so YES, as your very good friend, Jill, said, pages and pages of revisions are NOT unusual and more the norm than not, at least in my experience.

    And, it's not just revisions that can suck you under and tell you that you can't write. I hit the wall on book three, A Passion Denied, 3/4 of the way through because I was reading another author who was SO good, that I wanted to puke on my keyboard whenever I read what I wrote.

    "Go back to book 1," my husband said, "the book that won you a 3-book contract from your publisher -- surely you will see you can write after rereading that." Well, I did and guess what? It was awful too! So I fasted and prayed and finally figured out that my faulty mindset was distorting the facts.

    And those facts are: big publishers like Bethany House and Revell do NOT ... I repeat ... do NOT offer a 3-book contract unless they think you can write pretty darn well and believe in you enough to invest time and money. So take a deep breath, pray your heart out for wisdom and anointing, and give it to God. It's His book, after all ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  58. I think, unless a new writer is totally arrogant, there will be doubts. You've got a huge stamp of approval already! Just keep reminding yourself... You've ALREADY passed the test!

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  59. I'm late to the post. I agree with a lot of what's been said. Your agent and your publisher bot beeived in you enough to want to publish your book. Given how few people actually get published, they know you have the talent to do the job. You'll get it done.

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  60. I have doubts all the time. I keep the negative at bay because I can't imagine not writing and feel I am meant to do this, regardless of how bad the WIP may seem at the moment. Keep your head up. You wouldn't have a contract with Bethany House if you weren't a good writer. But, the editing process can stink at times. I highly recommend a bowl of chocolate close at hand at all times.

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  61. Patrice KavanaughOctober 24, 2009 4:57 PM

    I so appreciate your honesty and willingness to share this difficult journey. These blogs are truly a gift to other writers. I am going through the pain of editing myself, working with a freelance editor--I'm struck by the irony of having PAID someone to bring me such pain!!(grin). I take comfort in knowing, as your agent said, that I'm not doing it under contract and deadline. I guess that counts as counting my blessings, right? Patrice

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  62. Your writing friend and your agent sound great! I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job! Hang in there. :)

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  63. Not sure how I missed this post. It sounds like you have a good support system around you. Lean on them when you're having your doubts. I know you'll do a great job!

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