I’m looking forward to my time off with excitement and a healthy dose of trepidation. I’ve chosen a (very rough) first draft to read and revise.
Now that I’m looking down the long, dark tunnel of revision I’m realizing just how liberating and enjoyable it can be to write a first draft. It doesn’t matter if a first draft is bad. But with revision, it matters a great deal. Everything takes on importance that didn’t exist in my mad rush to get words on paper: structure, voice, character development. Not to mention those friends that the main character hangs out with in the first 50 pages who then vanish for the remainder of the book.
But if all I do is write first drafts, I’ll never finish another book. Still, I’m fighting those distractions, those little voices in my head tempting me with new projects, or challenging me to start the ever-elusive new historical project (and the intense research involved in that endeavor) before some other author gets there first (noooo!). It’s like these little ideas have their own pick-up lines: “Hey there, I know you’ve only written three pages about me, but I’m so mysterious that you just want to write more, am I right?” Something like that. Maybe less sleazy.