|Pic from this website|
You know how some people look at super models in magazines or on billboards after all their revisions and touch-ups and think, "I'll never look like that!" and then they go about beating themselves up with eating disorders and negative self talk??
Well, writers can fall into that same trap. We all know we should be reading the genre in which we're writing. It helps us see what's out there in the market and how western steampunk generally handles anachronistic technology, what color the rivets on that cow-bot should be, etc. It's important to read published and widely successful novels in your genre.
I've realized lately it's easy for me to read New York Times bestsellers and feel like the misshapen, pimply girl I sometimes felt like after flipping through the pages of Cosmo.
So I just wanted to remind everyone, including myself, that your first draft is not going to shine like the umpteenth draft of a published author. Remember that the amazing published authors you read have had a long list of people read and criticize their work while it was in ugly preteen phase. Family members, critique partners, beta readers, their agents, and then editors (with whom it goes through a few more rounds of edits before it's actually published). We're talking about major airbrushing here.
Through hard work and revisions, we can improve that first draft... a lot. But it's not going to happen overnight any more than acne is cured overnight. So today's public service announcement?
Be patient with yourself. Be patient with your book. Ugly ducklings can become swans, and the magic is in revision.