It’s a funny thing. When I wrote tech news and my Linux column, I felt pretty confident about what I was doing. I could debate policy and technology without hesitation. I’ve been on panels, given demonstrations and was, frankly, highly opinionated and usually right.
It’s different when it comes to fiction, though. I’ve made sales and gone to Clarion. I’m comfortable with what I do and don’t know but I don’t usually feel like I’m speaking with authority. Oddly, when I first started out I could sit and write a couple thousand words in a sitting. Now, I am more methodical, carefully choosing my words and writing much, much slower. The results are much better but there are times I wish I could reclaim some of that speed.
I’ve heard, on a few occasions, that it takes a year or so to fully recover or internalize the lessons of Clarion. Maybe I’m still in that phase and on the other side I’ll gain some newfound confidence in my work that will allow me to stop second-guessing myself. I’m happy with the end result of my work. I believe it’s of professional quality even if I haven’t made that first pro sale yet. I should be happy with what I have but I guess I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t push myself to the next level.