The Unknown Known
On writers’ chat boards, these questions and their variations come up a lot:
*How do you know the story is finished?
*How do you know if it is good, i.e. publishable?
*How do you know which revisions suggestions to take and which to pass?
*How do you know you have done the revision right?
*How do you know if a rejection is global (the manuscript is a hopeless mess) or just one person’s opinion?
Basically, all the above amount to how do you know if you should be writing with the hope to find readers who are not friends and family.
And the answer?
You don’t. You don’t know, but this sort of knowing is not the right goal.
The questions are a testament to the self-doubt that plagues artistic people right after the creative high wears off. It’s part of the process, and thinking some affirmation will settle it is part of the delusion.
I figured that as long as I use the doubting voices to create rather than paralyze, I am in the right place doing the right thing. That’s about all I know.