And thank you so much for all the lovely supportive comments I've had on here and on Twitter following my recent conviction that I suck at writing. I feel particularly bad about said wallowing in the light of SYTYCW, since so many of the entries I read were fantastic - I have no idea how the judges manage to whittle them down to any kind of shortlist - and I know there are lots of people out there who have as their goal the very thing I have been whinging about.
I thought self-doubt would be something that would simply disappear after I got the magical validation that is the publishing contract, but have to admit I have struggled with this darned book 2 far more than I have with anything I ever wrote on the journey here. I knew the constant thought that 'this isn't as good/sparky/funny as book 1' was inhibiting me, but I couldn't seem to help myself dwelling on it.
I submitted revised Chapters 1-6 of the Date Pool plus new Chapters 7-9 at the end of last week, absolutely convinced that I would receive back the revisions from hell, and very possibly rewrites. And having bitten my nails all week, yesterday I got an email back from my lovely editor.
Yes there are revisions. Of course there are. But they are not the monstrous rewrites from hell that I thought they would be. And she counterbalanced them with lots of things that she likes and that I am doing right. (*fragile ego sighs with relief*) What I have overlooked in my self-criticism is that I am not floundering around on my own to make this story work - she wants it to work as much as I do. And she is a brilliant source of ideas, plot tweaks and suggestions on how to deepen conflict and improve scenes I already have. As I prepare myself for a couple of weeks working through these revisions, I feel part of a team and I feel like I have a sense of perspective again.
I know there will likely be even more revisions down the line. But I feel like the ones I have are doable, I'm even excited about them because I can see already how they will make the story flow and work so much better. And so meltdown is over, for now.
Scuttling off now to the cave and I will keep you posted!