I am a creature of habit.
My rut is well worn.
I don’t like to leave my happy, well-known places. Dude, it’s scary out there.
Life required me to deviate from my master plan of never changing. There wasn’t much of a choice. And I did it with little anxiety… color me shocked!
And, it was okay, well, actually it might be my new happy place.
In my eleven years of writing, I NEVER let anyone see a first draft. Never. The thought made my eye-balls bleed and my body go into convulsions. No one should see that terrible first draft, the vomit draft… you don’t want to show people the vomit. Truly.
So, I would draft, then revise about three hundred times, THEN let people read it. This has worked for me.
Well, here I am writing a first draft. Slowly. But writing it. And my turn for critique group pops up. But…
Ummm… I don’t have anything.
Haven’t you started that sequel you’ve been world-building and planning?
Send us that!
Ooooo…kay. BUT IT’S TERRIBLE AND A FIRST DRAFT AND I NEVER LET PEOPLE SEE THOSE!
Anyway, that horrible first draft has now been critiqued by two different groups. And WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS SOONER? All those years I spent revising in my little bubble, digging a deeper and deeper hole stuck in all my thoughts about the manuscript. Then when finally I get feedback, I don’t know what to do, because I am staring at this thing I don’t know how to change.
When I get feedback for a book I am in the middle of drafting, I can make notes, and keep writing, using all the light bulb moments that came from comments to make the following chapters better.
Forget all the terrible sentence structures. Forget the way I repeated a word five hundred times. Forget the passive voice. I can fix that a heck of a lot easier than reworking the plot. Critiques are less painful when I am not so invested in the words. It’s a first draft… WHO CARES!!! Seriously, I was less jittery and sweaty.
So I am a changed person. This ms will be critiqued as a first draft, as I write the thing.
And it will be great.