Reading through my first draft and beginning the revisions, I cycle through a full range of emotional experiences. This novel is the best one I’ve written yet. No, it’s a complete disaster. Wait, it’s brilliant. Nope, I’ve just wasted five months.
Revision is my favorite part of the writing process, but having a fresh, critical eye can be difficult with that chorus running around in my brain. I’m not always sure if I’m questioning something because it’s not working, or I’m just questioning myself.
In the past few years I’ve learned to push past the doubt because I can’t trust it. It’s like the “dark night of the soul” portion of the story itself. All seems lost right before everyone is saved. Things always get much worse before they get better. That’s just how the best stories work. If my first draft seems like a glorious pile of trash, no worries. I just need to keep climbing the spiral until I reach the light.
Everything will work out in the end.
At least, it’s supposed to.