This is how quickly a writer's mood can whiplash.
This morning I read a general critique of my novel, The Changelings, by a Beta Reader from my Writer's Club which seemed encouraging. "I think the book is excellent, personally as a reader I know I enjoyed it and I could see others like myself enjoying it, and I'm not even a hardcore fantasy reader." Even her questions and concerns just inspired me to address them in my sequel, The Originals.
Then I started to reseach agents, and the doubts came pouring in. One agent likes strong female protagonists and hates damsels in distress, leading me to analyze my main character, Sylvie. She spends most of novel in captivity, but I don't see her as a damsel in distress, in part because she decides early on she needs to survive, adapts to her situation, and slowly elevates herself. Is she strong? Is she weak? That's up to interpretation.
Another agent said point blank she wouldn't consider a novel with a word count of 240,000. My novel runs at 228,000. It's not that I don't know my novel is long and that it's a weakness. But I've tried to condense it several times and it just won't get shorter. I'm just sick of editing this novel. I'm sick of pouring over each word and having to judge its worthiness. I just want to be done and move on, but I know it's not that easy.
This has been a week of ups and downs. On Saturday, I got into a confrontation at my writer's club, was told my critiques were too harsh, and that people had quitted over them. I ended up in tears. On the positive side, I finished Neal Shusterman's Everwild and Everfound, completing the triology. I also got 35 pages written in my "Coffins" story, which made me feel good. Writing is the best therapy. It's releasing that writing into the world that makes you insane.