"The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."
I'm currently revising, and I keep saying to myself, I don't know what I'm doing with this. Am I making a mistake? Am I screwing this up?
Doubt. Doubt. Doubt.
So, I'm not sure if I agree with the above quote, but given the doubt I've been feeling, it is at least encouraging. Actually, no I don't agree with it. I can't. There are moments of both reflections. This quote is talking about visual arts I do believe, as Robert Hughes is an art historian. But I assume that just like writing, there are moments.
Self doubt in the rough draft process can be frightening, but helpful. Self doubt when revising can get you to really step back and figure your ish out (thanks Alpha Reader #1 for getting me to take out all mention of trolls in a contemporary novel --duh!). But self doubt while copy editing just down right sucks.
At those end stages, when you're ready to put the work out there into the world, you need some confidence, perhaps even perfect confidence. Or else that manuscript might go back on the shelf. (Nope, not happening.)