It’s been two years since the day I typed the very first word of my very first novel, saw it hanging like a blotch above my computer screen. And from that moment on, as all aspiring author know, I was in for the roughest, stormiest, scariest ride of my life. Simply because I am steering through still untested waters (as far as I am concerned) and it’s dark and I can’t really see what lies ahead. There’ve been times during the travel though when I exhaled with a genuine feeling of satisfaction and truly believed I have what it takes to realize my ambition as a writer. But then these moments are usually short-lived. When you realize the bulk of work you still need to accomplish, the magnitude of the mountain you still need to climb, then down you go tumbling into the valley of pestering self-doubts: Am I up to it? Is it really worth it? Will people ever care about my work later on? Am I not just throwing precious chunks of time and effort? Am I having delusions about myself and my capabilities, holding on to a wholly unrealistic ambition?
The attacks of self-doubt are justified. Oftentimes, I don’t like my writing, don’t like my choice of a specific word, or that sentence, that phrase, sometimes a whole pharagraph just stinks I could only flinch with contempt. And in fact, I have already thrown away three whole chapters since I started editing for they no longer fit to the general plot as I’ve allowed the plot to take a slight turn. So I ferret through my brain for the right sounding word, labor to rewrite that sentence or decide, which is sometimes a very painful course to take, to delete it altogether, throwing it into oblivion into the so-called, cyber-limbo, wherever that is. The amount of white hair on my head has tremendously increased in the last two years than at any time of my earthly existence! I don’t know about other writers, but self-doubt has been my companion more constant and loyal than hope has been. And yet, ironically, after two years I’m still at it (nothing short of a miracle, really!) and still trying to ascend this steep craggy mountain taking one heavy gruelling step at a time. But, surprisingly, all the while, the thought pulsing in my temples is always: I’ve got to reach the summit, I’ve got to reach the summit…And, oh, thank God, my breath hasn’t failed so far!!