Nearing the end of my second draft last night, I was anxious while glancing at my word count after about an hour of work. I had reached my daily goal, edited a fair amount and fixed some things that needed fixing, but still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be with the amount of pages and words. This being my first book, I’m frankly worrying constantly over how well it’s going to go when released two months from now.
I’d been putting off showering for a couple of days (thank you, depression), and finally decided to lug myself away from the PC long enough to get under the hot water.
There? I started thinking of what it was I was missing. All the things I could add. It dawned on me, “you said X character was getting a tattoo, but you didn’t say what it was. Why don’t we just do a whole scene where he goes in to get it?” and “I’ve been missing stormy weather…Do you describe different weather or seasons much in there? We could definitely add that in.”
The ideas started to really flow while I was in there, and when I finished I practically slid back to my computer to jot down all the notes I’d thought up before they disappeared into the great unknown.
It really made me think about how good it is to take a step back every now and then, put your focus elsewhere. It allows you time not only to take care of yourself (which is the most important think you should be doing while working through just about anything), but it also gives your mind the refresher, the breather it needs to start rolling again.
So, my second draft may not be where I wanted it to be. Do I care? Nope. That’s what the third draft is going to be for!
The biggest thing I need to remember here is that the manuscript will get better, bit by bit, and I need to let the process happen as it needs to. I may not edit the same way others do, or treat writers block the same way – But each individual has their process. Mine is, apparently, thinking up what I need to do while I’m in the bathroom. Another one of mine is just projecting what I want into my characters.
If you’re on your creative journey, whether that be through the written word, or putting brush to canvas, you need to find your happy little corner of creativity. It won’t always be there, but you should definitely always be proud of the work you produce. It will get better, day by day – Your efforts are worthy, and valid. Keep at it, and you’ll get to where you need to go!
All you need to do? Is find your little things.