Monday, November 2, 2009

Did I seriously write that?

I experienced one of those rough patches last night where everything I read in my manuscript sounded awful. You know those days. Thankfully they pass quickly for me and the next night I'll be in love with it again, but in an effort to motivate myself I went back and read one of my first query drafts.

It's so awful I would never subject anyone (else. yes, I made the HUGE mistake of sending it out to a few agents last year!) to it let alone humiliate myself by sharing it here. It sucks. There I said it. Not even the closing was good. The word count was ridiculous, it was packed with cliches, and the story sounded like crap. After I got over the initial cringe I laughed. I sat there staring at the computer screen with a big ol' smile spread across my face because where I'm at today is light years ahead from that horrible beginner query. Not just the query, my writing, the story--me. We've all come a very very long way in the span of a year. So the next time I hit an icky mood and think my work isn't so hot I'm totally pulling out the old query and first drafts.

So instead of hiding your old work under a bed or if you're considering sending the file to the trash bin, think again. Save it for those days when you second guess your writing because I guarantee you'll see just how far you've come and it will make you feel loads better. But if you're like me and actually allowed other human beings to read the early mess I recommend blocking out that small detail from your mind. It's way easier than crawling under the bed with the dusty old first, second, third or fourth draft.

8 comments:

MeganRebekah said...

I usually hate everything I write. But I love the story, so I keep moving forward :)

Nova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ali said...

ROFL Rebecca. BTDT!

But you are SO right . . . it's helps, sometimes, to read that stuff to remind myself that I've grown a lot.

And yes, I let people read my early junk too!

Nova said...

We are our toughest critics. Although sometimes when I feel what I've written is crap I don't hit that delete button just yet. I reread it a few days later and realize, hey this isn't half bad. Perhaps a little bit cleaning up is all it needs. But that doesn't happen all the time, for the most part if it looks like shit and sounds like shit it's probably shit (D*E*L*E*T*E) Then get back on track. Don't let it hold you back.

Don't be so hard on yourself. It may just be rough patch of writing you had last night. It happens to all of us. Sometimes when you force it out all you can regurgitate is bad vile, ugh. Just take a deep breath, go for a walk, or listen to some music to build up your creativity energy and naturally your rhythm will return :)

Lizzy Mason said...

LOL! I've totally been there. I just recently re-read the first query letter I ever sent. It was so bad, I really wanted to delete all evidence of its existence from my out box!

Paul Greci said...

The first query I sent? It was pretty ugly, too.

Good luck on your search for representation.

ElanaJ said...

I'm going to take this advice next time I'm feeling blue. Because my first stuff sucked too!

jessjordan said...

I totally have those moments. All. The. Time. My old novel, that I sent to a "beta" (okay, it was my sister), revised (kinda) and (gulp) actually sent out to agents makes me simultaneously laugh and cringe. It's not pretty. But it reminds me of how far I've traveled in this little writerly world of ours. :)