Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's Okay If It Sucks

This might horrify some of you, but I LOVE revising. There is nothing quite like the satisfaction I get from taking a jumbled pile of cringeworthy phrases and paragraphs and reorganizing them into something smooth and shiny. The problem is that in order to have something to revise, I have to write a first draft.

First drafts and my brain do not get along. Well, at first they do. At first, they tell each other how awesome they are and how they're going to change the world because, together, they'll be the BEST THING EVER WRITTEN. They write notes together and work on outlining and everything is going to be perfect.

But then the first draft tries to leave the brain and the brain gets all neurotic and mean and tries to change the first draft because the first draft will never be good enough for the brain. Never. The first draft realizes that deep down it's known this all along. It was only fooling itself that it could ever measure up, ever be enough. So instead of pouring the story out onto the screen as originally planned, it sits quietly at the blinking cursor and waits for the perfect words that will never come.

All the while, I'm screaming at them to get over themselves, stop bickering, and just GET OUT OF MY HEAD already.

Can you tell I'm drafting right now? ;)

Usually, the only thing that really works to get the story out is to give myself permission to suck. I even have this posted above my monitor as a constant reminder.

What about all of you? Do you prefer drafting or revising? Do you have to force yourself to muscle through 80,000 words of pure suckitude to get to the fun part?

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Angelica R. Jackson said...

I generally prefer revising too--to the point that it's difficult to stop! But the last third of a novel in drafting--oh, it's torture!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I definitely have to remind myself from time to time, too, it's okay if it's sucky right now. :) That's what revisions are for.

Kimber Leigh said...

I love revising. It really is my favorite part. It's much easier to power through a first draft when I don't mind if it's cringe worthy the first time through :)

The real trick is not revising during the final proofing. Sometimes it's hard to turn it off...