I know I shouldn’t do this, but I can’t help myself


I know I should not compare my book with other writers’ books–their distribution, their sales rankings, their bookshelf presence–but I do it anyway. It’s stupid and destructive, yeah, but there’s a part of me that feeds on that feeling of failure.

A couple of days ago, Sherwood Smith talked a bit about authors who blame readers for their own lack of success. I didn’t comment because I’m so far behind on my online reading, but for me, I always blame myself. That self-disgust and self-recrimination makes me focus on improving my work.

Which may be why I think Man Bites World is the best writing I’ve ever done. It was the hardest and the most complex, but I’m really proud of it. At the same time, I’m scrutinizing it for flaws, and gritting my teeth over every choice that would have been better if it had been written by someone else.

I don’t know. This is my weird process: I love the things that work as though they’re separate from me, and I despise the things that fall short as personal failures.