Who wrote this crap? – Aimee Brown

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By Aimee Brown

I’m a brand new author. My debut novel, Little Gray Dress, has just barely made the bookstores and while I love the story I’ve created, I can’t read it again. That might sound weird, and that I’m talking myself down but I’m absolutely not.♥

Have you ever seen an interview with a famous actress who insists that they don’t watch the films or TV shows they’re in? I always thought that was so weird! How could you not watch? I’d always assumed that if it was me I’d be so excited that I’d have shelves lined with heavily worn DVDs of anything I had played in.

I’m discovering exactly what those actresses mean though. It’s much like hearing yourself speak on tape. At first your confused & hardly recognize yourself and then you move into denial that it’s really how you sound before it quickly spirals into self loathing of your own voice!

Reading your own book seems to follow that pattern as well. The first fifteen times I read through it during the editing process I had great days, where I was in love with every single word. Then I’d have bad days where I wanted to pitch the whole freaking computer right through the window. Who wrote this crap? I’d ask myself wondering how I ever expected to make it as a real author.

Then I’d come across a part where I’d laugh at my own jokes and instantly change my mind. I was seriously so up and down I’d thought I’d completely lost it. Finally writing a complete book had caused insanity. Perfect, I’d thought. Maybe now my imagination will be a little easier coming to the surface.

After a month of edits I’d finally come to a point where I decided to stop reading through the entire book and just focus on the notes my editor had. If I didn’t I’d never be done editing as it seemed there was always something I could change. At one point she emailed me and said ‘I think we’re nearly there.’ Probably that was a hint for me to STOP changing things I’d already fixed. Oops.

I remember praying outloud to the writing Gods. PLEASE let her be right! I read through the edits, fixed what needed to be fixed and with only a split-second thought of needing to read the whole book again and edit every word I hated, I hit the send button despite the screaming in my head not to.

Recently I tried to reread the book to get into a certain characters head because I’m working on a top secret new project that needed his personality. I made it through half of chapter one before I finally gave up and started obsessively cleaning the house, my mind racing down a path I don’t want to depress you with. Was it really any good? Is all the praise I’m hearing just BS? Probably, the book is just as great as everyone has told me and one day my habit of overthinking and self-doubt will start to life. (Please… tell me it lifts.)

I know for a fact that I’m not the only author who does this. Everyone, no matter what you’ve created be it a painting, a movie, or a book, we all feel this way. We all have moments where we can’t believe anyone would buy, let alone read, what we’ve poured our heart and soul into.

Honestly, even as a new author, I think the reason authors continue to create stories is because of the readers. We love to write, yes, that’s a huge part of it but ultimately without readers, we aren’t successful. I always love the thankful emails I receive from an author after I’ve sent an email telling them exactly what it was that I loved about their book.

If you’ve ever yelled at a book, cursed a mean girl or fallen in love with a hero an author has created, tell them. I guarantee your email will appear in their inbox at the exact moment they’re having a ‘who wrote this crap?’ moment.

Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published novel. She spends much of her time writing, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets.


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