Last week I wrote that I’ve been struggling to find time to write…not to mention finding the right words.
But this week I finally got myself back on track, thanks in part to that writing book I read (Second Sight by Cheryl Klein, recently re-published as The Magic Words).
Thanks to the advice in the book, I’ve figured out an emotional plot for my MC, and started revising my MG Fantasy in the morning before my kids get up. It’s definitely slower going than I’m used to these days, getting only half an hour (an hour if they sleep in) instead of my usual six-hour day, but it’s better than nothing.
I’m looking forward to getting this revision done and handed in for critique. I think I’m by far my harshest critic, often abandoning drafts because I can’t see any way to save them on my own. If I didn’t have this somewhat time-sensitive professional critique hanging over me, chances are this manuscript would have ended up in a metaphorical drawer as well.
Part of it is low self-esteem: feeling I’m just not good enough (see my posts on Imposter Syndrome). But part of it is that those drafts aren’t good enough. First drafts shouldn’t be compared to finished drafts, they’re the foundation, the building blocks of the book to come. They still need to molded and built upon to reach the status of actual book.
I think it gets a bit worse the more I learn about writing. With each new ms I’m able to spot more flaws in my first draft. More things I want to stop and fix immediately, rather than pressing on and correcting later in revision. But I have to start pushing myself harder.
In fact, I think my goal for the fall, once I finish drafting my YA Fantasy, is to go back and reexamine one of my trunked mss (probably the YA Contemporary) and see if it’s worth revising. I know it doesn’t work as it is now. But *could* it work with enough changes? Maybe.
And right now, that maybe is enough for me.
What about you? Are you your own harshest critic? Or do you have trouble seeing your own flaws? Let me know in the comments.