So, I was thinking today about the ups and downs of writing and hashing out that first big bloppy mess of a draft. And this is pretty much how it goes for me. Writing a novel is like dealing with grief; there are stages.
With grieving the stages are: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance (YES, that psychology degree really DOES pay off sometimes!)
With writing, it's a bit more complicated.
Stage One, Pure Bliss: OMG this is the best book ever! Once I finish this bad boy, I'll be a millionaire! I'll be bigger than Steven King AND Stephanie Meyer! They will make movies not just about my books but about ME! I might even have my own E! True Hollywood Story!
Stage Two, Pure Bliss on the Rocks: Whew. This middle is getting a little sticky. Maybe I should go back and change that one thing that I did in the beginning. Or that one character trait. Maybe if my MC was blind/stronger/had ESP/could see dead people/fell in love with a goat who wanted to suck her blood, it would be better.
Stage Three In Which I Attempt To Stifle the Inner Editor And Not Go Back And Change Crap and I FAIL: Okay, I changed that one thing and checked for continuity for no apparent reason since this is a first draft. Wait, was that a bad decision? Maybe I should change it back. Did I save that other draft? I know I shouldn't go back and change things while drafting, but it was such a good idea and I just KNEW it would make the whole thing better in no time at all! Except three weeks have passed.
Stage Four, Resistance: I'm the worst writer ever. What am I doing? I can't even spell! I use too many commas! This idea is AWFUL! No one will ever want to read it! I don't even want to write it! What was my log line again? Do I have a character arc? What about theme, DON'T I NEED A THEME?!
Stage Five, When I Think About Cheating: Dude, I just had this GREAT idea for a book! So, it has NOTHING to do with my current book, but that one can wait, right? RIGHT?! It's not even that good!
Stage Six, Hope Resurfaces: I made it to the scene where my MC gets to make out with her love interest/there's a dragon/she's super funny/everything is going like I planned YES! This is BRILLIANT! I AM AN EVIL GENIUS!
Stage Seven, Repeat Stages Four Through Six. At Least Ten Times.
Stage Eight, Philosophical Rationalization: I know this writing stuff is hard, but it's okay. It's all apart of my learning/writing journey. I am one with my novel and it is one with me. We will go through this experience and emerge stronger on the other side.
Or not. :-)