Especially at 2am. When you’re laying in bed, staring up at a ceiling you can barely see through the darkness. Wondering if your book is actually terrible, if you use too many cliches, if it’s too much like every other popular book in that genre. When you’re googling terms like ‘should I really publish my book’ or ‘is my book rubbish’ or, my favourite search term to date, ‘should I even be allowed to write’.
Please, someone tell me I’m not the only one.
I can’t be, because the amount of blog posts and quizzes I have discovered during my bouts of nighttime insecurity leads me to believe other writers have also googled variations of those same phrases. And yes, I did just say quizzes. Yup, there are actual question and answer quizzes to help you determine if your book is a written cliche, and if all your characters are two-dimensional morons with no backbones, or worse, if your female lead is a Mary-Sue. Until last night, I didn’t even know what a freaking Mary-Sue was, or that it was even a thing. (If you don’t know, Google it. Google is my best friend these days. Or my worst enemy. Haven’t decided which.)
So there I am, at 2am, re-reading my book to see how many cliches I use, ripping apart all aspects of each character to figure out all of their flaws and checking to see how many gaping plot holes there are. Not the best use of my sleep time when I have a mini army of little people to get to school that morning and an actual job to go to.
I’m not going to lie. I realised there’s definitely a few over-used plot techniques in there. And maybe my heroine is a bit shallow. But you know what? I’m ok with that. And I’ll tell you why.
I’m ok with it because I realised that despite the fact it probably won’t set the world on fire like Twilight did, and despite the fact that I probably won’t be able to quit my day job when I finally get it published, it doesn’t matter. Because I did it. I finally managed to write an actual book. And regardless of whether or not I actually sell a single copy of it, that’s a fact I’m ridiculously proud of.