You would think Magic Inc. getting better and better would be a confidence boost. I love the way this new edit has been turning out. And it hasn't yet sacrificed anything I held dear about the story or characters. (Because I do believe you can over edit and lose some of the raw emotion that was there in the beginning, which is my favorite part.) But being so critical of a story that is such a vulnerable part of me has awakened some demons. Echoes of voices from the past telling me I'll never be good enough.
I used to believe I was meant to write. It was the only part of me I had confidence in. At some point during the writing of Book Two, outside voices (that weren't even directed at me) triggered my self-hating inner voice. I was reliving bullying, except I was bullying myself. And I lost confidence in the one thing I had always believed I was meant to do. I was, for a little while, able to calm these voices. But being in edits for almost a year now has brought them back.
I've learned a lot over the last few years. Many of those lessons were hard. They hurt. But I do think they've made me a better writer and human. Still, I can't get over this feeling that it's not enough. That it - that I - will never be enough. I don't feel smart enough, strong enough, experienced enough, or even kind enough to really write something to help people. To make a positive impact.
All I can offer is *my* story. The story I built out of all my broken, vulnerable parts. A story I know is imperfect in many ways. And no amount of editing can truly fix it, while still remaining my truth.
I saved this comment I made from a few weeks ago. "Very, very few things make me feel powerful in the slightest. It's a big world, and I spend my life in one room, hiding from it. But writing, when I do it for the love of it and not the pressure of making myself have worth, makes me feel free. Not only can I give myself the power I wished I had in real life through Magic Inc., but I can build myself a support system. I can, eventually, give myself the love I wish I had. It's not everything. And it's not, strictly speaking, real. But my true power is telling the stories of my heart with vulnerability and compassion and love."
But is that enough? I'm not sure.
(Original, more depressing version of this post is under a friends' lock - or on my Tumblr, if you really want to read it. It's been a rough week.)