I'm nearing the end of my current work-in-progress, the harrowing part. I'm looking up at all the plates I've set to spinning atop their narrow sticks, only to see that every blooming one of them is wobbling.
There are only two possibilities at this point. Either the entire novel will crash down and shatter beyond all hope of redemption, or I'll run frantically from plate to plate and get each one spinning fast enough to pull off this miraculous trick we call a novel.
Today, I'm trying to remind myself I have an agent who believes that I can do this, an editor who's bet the publisher's money I can do it, and a fan base (however modest) waiting for my success. I remind myself, too, that on twelve previous attempts, I've spotted the wobbling, despaired of ever making a cohesive novel out of imminent disaster, and yet somehow managed to get the book finished and in print.
That ought to count for something, shouldn't it? But the fact is, the fact that I've written previous novels has not tapped me with the magic wand of confidence. Though some books are far tougher than others, they all have wobbly moments -- moments when one wishes she had chosen a steady-paycheck sort of job, such as, say, working the night shift at the local Stop N' Rob.
But I haven't chosen that life. Instead, I've had the unmitigated gall to try to make it as a novelist. So it's time now to suck it up and get back to working on those plates.