A chart of the swings of my emotions between thinking the work is good and that it is awful would probably resemble a printout from an electrocardiogram. The moment the reader tells me "I've finished the book" is as stressful as getting exam results. Does the story pass or fail? And if it's a pass, does the writing get a good grade?
Of course, there is always the option of a complete rewrite, but when you've worked to make the story as good as you can before you let anyone else read it, that's akin to being faced with having to do all the revision again in order to resit an exam, a rather daunting thought.
Some writers let people read their work as they produce it or even present it to critique groups, but I prefer to wait until I have finished the first draft before seeking anyone's opinion. I like to let the characters in my head have free rein without outside influence until I've got their story down.
Today, I am glad to say, the first readers' opinions have been positive and so the book will move on to the next stage, a full edit.
Still a way to go before publication, including deciding on a title and the cover design, but in celebration of getting to this point I'm running a promotion on Ulterior Motives. From now until 19th September the ebook is only $0.99/£0.99. (It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.)