I Hate My Story / I Love My Story

Jen of Random Thoughts started a new thread on the writer's forum: When It Starts Feeling Like A Job.

She asked: "How do you cope with pushing through when your...I guess you'd call it your muse...is being a snippy beeyotch who doesn't want to acknowledge she knows you?"

I replied: "I've never struggled through this feeling before. Usually what happens is, I write and write and write, get to the end or near end and when the inspiration dies down, I stop. Thanks to this forum (already been a year and a half!) I am now more than ever eager to actually see an MS through to the real end - querying agents. And because of that I'm having to slog through periods of "I suck!" more often than ever before (the only other times have usually involved short stories, either published in literary anthologies at university or submitted to contests (Surrey... sigh... I suck!)).
It seems that I have been unconsciously following Diana's advice. I console my self with piles of research reading, which sometimes sparks more writing, or I give up, like this past weekend, and read other things (hi kc! ). What's strange is that, for me, I am not avoiding writing but editing - it's hard to get beyond that "I suck!" feeling to the point where I can reread and and begin rewriting my story...
But I have to, right? If only because I do love this story and it has to be told... So, while my mom is way for two weeks and I'm on my own for lunch, I should have at least an hour a day where I *must* do some work..."

I received a truly wonderful answer from Beth that all boiled down to one thing: why are you agonising over what is essentially a first draft? You should be happy that you've finished a novel! All you have to do now is tinker with it and edit it, making it the best writing you can. Read the entire thread and her full answer here.

I'm not sure why I've been expecting perfection from a first draft. Beth's wake-up call has made me feel a lot lighter and a lot more excited about the editing process!


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