The Doubt Shoggoth

You might have a doubt monster – I have a doubt shoggoth, and it is sitting on my shoulders, smothering me with protoplasmic nastiness, pulling me into the very depths of doubt-despair (melodramatic, I know, but this is a shoggoth, dammit!).

I have currently revised and rewritten 20 chapters of my novel. I have about (I say about, because part of the revising process is about splitting those 10,000+ word chapters up so they are more sociably acceptable) 8 to go. So I should be rejoicing, non?

Ahh, non, mon ami. Non indeed.

Why? Well, like a shoggoth, the reasons are manifold (and sticky.Well, okay, maybe not really sticky, but they’re sure bunging me up!). Whilst I have done the bulk of the rewriting, there’s still a lot of gaps to fill. I’ve had new ideas as I’ve gone along this revision, which I need to backfill (again). I still don’t have a proper chapter one, and I’m in two minds how I want to approach it. The last few chapters, which I wrote in an orgy of abandonment, are a mess of interstellar proportions (rather like the rest of the novel was, really!). Etc etc ad nauseum.

But the biggest bubble on the shoggoth’s back – the one that is really keeping me up (alongside Emily, who has decided 3 hours sleep a night is quite enough, thank you very much), is that hideous question:

“After all this work; after all this love; after all this attention… is it really any good?”

If you read other writing blogs, or anything from any editor ever, the answer is ‘don’t be stupid, of course it isn’t’, because according to them, every. single. novel written by an aspiring writer is unmitigated shite. Or so it seems.

I suppose I won’t know until I actually let someone read the damn thing. But no one’s going to read the damn thing until it is more socially acceptable. And right now, it isn’t all that socially acceptable, so no one is going to read it yet. And around and around we go, with the doubt shoggoth’s tentacles squeezing and squeezing and squeezing…

Boy, I wish I drank… I could do with something quite strong right now. Instead I shall go and clean the toilet and huff in the bleach fumes for a bit.

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One thought on “The Doubt Shoggoth

  1. Gerry Fenge says:

    I haven’t read any of it but I think your art is brilliant, so you certainly have quality inside you. Whether that translates to the written word is the question, to which I answer: why not? Too much shoggothing might be an answer. Or maybe it’s just the normal thing of learning on the job which results in a novel so tweaked and revised you cannot see it clearly any more.

    Someone else will, though. When you’re ready.

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