So, I posted the first chapter to project #2 on Absolute Write's critique board, to get some initial reader reaction. And the first person who critiqued it said it was "Nearly brilliant". This made me feel all gooey and glowy inside. In fact, it's days later, and I still feel pretty darned good!
And this got me to thinking how one single word or phrase can have such a drastic effect on a writer's self-opinion. All it takes is one tiny bit of praise to make us fly high for a week or more, and one itsy bitsy criticism to send us spiralling into the realm of "I will never write again." In some cases, we even stick with it, hanging up our pen and parchment and slinking off into the sunset to lead mundane lives.
I have no idea what this all means, but it was the thought that was creeping around my brain today, in amongst my other familiar neurosis. (no, I still have no idea if the e or the i is plural. At this point, I'm refusing to look it up out of sheer spite)
I think I found a happy solution to chapter three today, and reworked four and five as well. Five may or may not be done, but I was at the nitpicky point when I left work this evening. None of those three chapters have reached the word count goal I'd set for myself, and in true anal-retentive form, I'm fretting about it. It's a sheer act of will, now, to force myself to just write the damn story, and see what I've got at the end before I start freaking out.