Finally, finally you type “The End.”
Elated you shutdown the computer and take a walk around the neighborhood. The fresh air, the sun, the birds singing, even the neighbors you pass, no one knows the elation within you. How can they? They’re not crazy like you.
Then you send your draft off to early readers.You know, those folks who’ve stuck with you through the years of shitty first drafts, unrelenting self-doubt and abject paranoia. It’s unkind, of course, to expect them to suffer through yet another draft but they asked for it. Or maybe they didn’t and you just imagined their glee at finally being able to read the completed masterpiece. (By the way, the technical term for what you’re going through is “Euphoric Self-Delusion” or ESD.)
Days go by and your email only contains offers to prepay for your funeral (appropriate). But because you’re afflicted with ESD you begin to think your masterpiece is ready for the editor.
And then it comes. The first bullet over the deck. “Just finished your book,” your early reader says. Blah, blah, blah (the nice things). You can now relax but only for a second. “However,” she concludes, “that’s it?”
“What do you mean ‘that’s it’?” You type back.
“The ending is too abrupt. What happened to the character after the trial?”
“I’m not done? How can that be? You want more?’
The answer “yes.”
You have no more. For you the story ended where it ended and yet you’re a writer with low sales and a publisher constantly telling you “write what the readers want” therefore you will cave.
… until the reviews roll in and you realize you should have trusted your own instincts.
How about you? Has lack of self-confidence ever forced you to make a decision you later regretted?
Graphics from Bing Images