I was thinking about writing the other day. Actually, I do quite a lot of thinking about writing, as opposed to actually getting down to work and writing. Anyway, I find that my confidence level is extremely variable.
I'm seldom happy with a first draft but by the time I finish a third draft, or somewhere in that vicinity, I think what I have is really good. If I'm feeling brave, I send it out. Yay for me and all that. By the time I get the rejection - which might be six months later - and look at the piece again, all I can see are the flaws, and there are always lots to see. I'll sneak in a music reference here. I might see the third or fourth draft as a symphony, or, at the very least, a good sonata, when I send it out. Then later (after those six months pass) when I have to look at again, it appears to be a very trite and unsaleable pop song.
It's hard to deal with these fluctuations in confidence. I hope I'm learning to be somewhat more objective. In some ways, I think I've progressed as a writer. I have learned its a long process and I have gained at least a little objectivity about my work. That's a continuing struggle though - as it probably is for everyone else who writes.
Perhaps a bit of early success temporarily spoiled me. It's all a balancing act. Nothing I write will ever be anywhere near perfect. I'm extremely aware of that but I also have to maintain a reasonable amount of belief in what I do, and be able to hear criticism and not cringe, and be able to sort out the just criticism from the less-than-just criticism. I'm working on that. I'll probably always have to work on that.
And speaking of work, I better get back to the fourth draft of one of my short stories.