I’m analyzing my own work today.
Lots of people think you can’t be objective about your own work, especially in the arts. Personally, I think developing an objective, evaluating eye is *exactly* what artists need to do. Not an internal editor that’s climbed up your back like an unwelcome hippo, but the ability to know what you’re aiming for and whether you’ve achieved it.
For the book I’m working on now, it’s going extra slowly because I’m using it as a workbook for improving my craft. After having written 30+ novels across a variety of genres, I have my own style and rhythyms – which only means I’ve internalized storytelling such that it’s largely intuitive. This is great in many ways, but also dangerously difficult to change (or even see). So conscious analysis of my work (how many times in a chapter do I switch from potential to action? How well am I using symbolism? How much depth is there in character viewpoints and perspectives? When do I surprise the reader?) is vital to dredging up those subconscious skills, giving them a little polish, then using them repeatedly until their shinier selves are subsumed into my subconscious skillset again.
It’s always pleasant to discover when I’ve done something well (hey! that symbol was there and I didn’t even realize it!), but the point isn’t to comfortably reassure myself that I’m awesome. The point is to be UNcomfortable… and use that discomfort to craft a story that reaches into the minds and hearts of my readers and changes a little piece of who they are.
(Editors who exist outside my cranium are very useful as well, but I firmly believe this is a skill a writer should master for themselves.)