Thank God. Being a writer means having a tenuous balance between arrogance and self hatred. You have to be cocky enough to believe, apropos of nothing, that what comes out of your brain is worth putting into the brains of others. And yet you have to despise yourself enough to be able to reject the terrible premises, spot your own flaws, and edit that crap into something worth actually putting into your reader’s brain-holes.
So finishing a book is exhilarating: “Look what I have done! I’m so brilliant. I have birthed worlds and lives out of nothing! I AM A GOD!”
But it’s also terrifying: “Look what I have done. I’m an idiot, I slapped together a bunch of assholes out of cliches and adverbs. God forgive me.”
By the time I’m finished with a book, I know that it’s the best I can possibly do at that time. If I could do better, I would — I’d simply edit it further. But I have no idea if that means the book is, objectively, any good. That all depends on reader response, and I have to wait years to get that.
The few readers who’ve seen it have liked it, obviously some editors and agents liked it, and now here’s the first review, and it is good.
So I am a god. Until I’m an asshole again. It is the God/Asshole cycle of writing, and it is eternal.