Monday, May 9, 2011

And This Is How I Know...

that I am a writer at heart.

I HATE critiquing my own work.

I HATE editing my work endlessly, seeing only baby steps of improvement with each pass through.

And, yet, I tug, prod, and coerce myself to keep working through it. It may seem like I'm going at a snail's pace, regardless I keep going. Frustrated. Lost. Tired. Judgemental. Ever grasping for that failing spark of Hope that will lead me to Bliss Road.

I'm being reminded of myself daily now of years gone by. When I was a systems analyst each time I coded a new program I felt the same way as I am now. STRUGGLING to muddle through the test runs. The initial writing was always a breeze, it was getting it to run clean that was the challenge.

Each run of my code would bomb out a few lines lower. Each read of my manuscript has me nodding off a scene later. Fine tuning isn't fun. It's painstaking. It's giving down and dirty service to a masterpiece waiting to emerge.

Oh, how I hope and pray that my manuscript turns out like each and every coded program that I struggled to write all those years ago. Clean. Efficient. And Deliverable.

What about you? Are first drafts your biggest challenge, or is it polishing rounds that dip into your reserves?

Surrendering to Him,



Jennifer Shirk said...

I edit as I go, so my first drafts are pretty polished. But it is like pulling teeth to get a manuscript finished. This book I'm working on now is particularly hard. Writers call their books their babies and it's like giving birth when it's finished.
Well, this book feels like I'm giving birth to a pineapple. LOL

Katie Ganshert said...

First drafts cause all kinds of anxiety for me. I always feel this HUGE sense of relief when I type The End! Revising, while difficult, doesn't make me as panicked as the rough draft.

Janna Leadbetter said...

Yes. Yes!

For me, it's trusting the process. I get so caught up in (and frustrated with) those things you mentioned, that it affects my level of perseverance.

We must keep at it! Trust ourselves, and the craft.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

LOVE first drafts. Blech on all the rest, but I blech through it to get to the clean.

Got to wash those adverbs right out of my, someone give the girl some caffeine! ;)
~ Wendy

Joanne said...

Hm, tough question. With each, I'll move along smoothly, until I hit a roadblock that torments me for awhile as I think and contemplate and consider and try and iron out until the wrinkles are smoothed and I'm off and writing again.

Erica Vetsch said...

It's the editing that slows me down. My favorite part of the process is the initial story-spark and developing the idea into a viable novel.

Keli Gwyn said...

I'm sorry it's rough for you right now, Eileen. It can take time to get back into the swing of things after having been away from our writing for a while.

First drafts are hard for me. I actually prefer editing to putting the story on the page.

Robyn Campbell said...

Girlfriend, it is like this for every writer, no matter what they may say. The editing is THE worst for me. Because I DO judge my writing so harshly. And then I question myself. Should it be this way or that?

Right now I'm living on Dead end. But one of these days I'll be back to Bliss Road. *sigh*

I'm just glad you're finally back blogging again. :-)

Loree Huebner said...

Eileen, You do have a writer's heart...and soul.

We all go through these times when we can't find rhythm or rhyme to our work...writing, revising, first draft, or polishing.

Baby steps are ok. Don't pressure yourself with deadlines. Take it one day at a time. Pray on it before you even sit at the computer. It's amazing how God's spirit will fill you and direct your writing.

Soon you will find your pace and rhythm. Don't rush it. There's always a reason for these difficult times.

I'm sending you a big hug across the border!!

Jessica R. Patch said...

The first draft is much fun. I love the thrill of where I'm going from beginning to end. Revisions? That's work. Pays off, but it's not as adventerous!

Karen Lange said...

Oh, I have challenges in both areas sometimes, it just depends how much editing happens while I go. It also depends on how the creative juices are flowing. :)

Sarah Forgrave said...

I find myself struggling to write first drafts more than editing. When I can squish my internal editor into a dark corner, I enjoy drafting, but she usually manages to sneak back out and cause chaos. :)

Susan Anne Mason said...

I know how you feel, Eileen. I struggle with edits, too! Once I have the words down a certain way, my brain resists changing them!

My only consolation is that I see improvements in my initial drafts now, so hopefully the edits won't be as painful!

If I can help at any stage, just let me know!