In the weeks since finishing latest draft of WIP I've been in a kind of doldrums. It's a familiar pattern, but gets no easier to deal with. By the time I limp over the finish line I am so drained and weary it's a relief to put it to bed, but with it comes the loss of confidence. I'm not sure why this happens, or even if it happens to others as well as me. It feels like everything I write is stilted and crap, every idea is contrived or cliche. I feel like a complete fraud and wonder why I'm even trying.
But then a little time passes and for some reason I take a look at something I wrote and forgot about. Last night I opened a piece I began during the summer, a couple of thousand words of an opening chapter. I read it expecting nothing, so it was nice to find it wasn't half bad. It drew me in. It stirred me to want to imagine more. It made me think, not with arrogance but astonishment, 'I really can do this'.
And this has happened time after time. Just when I've written myself off as useless I get a nice surprise that keeps me going.