Road Trip Wednesday is a weekly blog carnival hosted by YA Highway. This week's topic is: What's the biggest writing/querying/publishing mistake you've made so far?
For the sake of my own psyche, let's not discuss the early drafts of my first manuscript that I so proudly forced on others, thinking that minus a few line edits here and there it was "done"? I cringe.
Of course I've also made mistakes querying, typos plague my fourth drafts, and I'm sure I've put my foot in my blogging/Tweeting mouth many times.
Wait, no--let's go back to the embarrassing first drafts. I think the biggest mistake I've made is fighting the idea of sh!tty first drafts. Stay with me, here--I know that sounds lame. But it took me a really, really long time to understand, accept, and embrace those stinking heaps of nascent word-poo. And that was hard, because it made me be a frustrated writer, one who was afraid to be creative and take risks. I had my outline, I was sticking to it, and I would stew over a paragraph for a month if I needed to.
So of course those sh!tty first drafts took shape pretty slowly. And yeah, that's right--they were still sh!tty even if I spent a year writing them.
Now when I'm writing a first draft, I'm still plagued with doubt. But I embrace it. Meh, so what if I look back on this scene and think it's absolutely whackadoo? There are going to be plenty of chances to edit. But all the bad scenes I am writing now are letting me get to the good ones, and from those good ones I'll find what the book should be. Correcting my mistake and learning to love the sh!tty first draft hasn't been (and still isn't easy), but it's made a big difference in how I write and how I enjoy the writing process.
*Does anyone else remember that Sesame Street song?