A few nights ago I sat down to try and flesh out the first few pages of a new short story that I had been turning over in my mind for a few weeks. I had come up with a way to get into the story and wanted to see how it worked and how the writing flowed as I moved along into the second and third graphs.
It went well and I kept going with it and before long I had about two pages of what I thought was reasonablly good writing, though as with all things would require some revision. The next night I sat down to read through what I had written and continue the story, but felt sick as I read what appeared to be utter crap.
I wondered if maybe I had just been too tired and careless or simply had allowed words to escape onto the page without a proper vetting. Should I work on slowing down and thinking more about craft or what? So I put it away.
A few nights after that I came back to it and lo and behold it was as if the cobblers fairies had come and worked on it a little bit. Well, not really, it wasn't that good, but it read a lot better and the only thing that had changed was my frame of mind. I revised what I had written and plan on returning to it tonight.
This happens to me all the time. I write and feel as if it went well. Return to it a little while later and hate it. Return to it again and it isn't so bad. I know this must happen to other writers and I'm wondering what various others do to counteract the frame-of-mind syndrome.
I imagine to that some of our writer friends with MFAs may even have a name for this phenomenon.
I have heard that it is best to just get the draft out and down on paper then basically run away from it for a couple of months. Return and it will seem more polished. This also speaks to the need for some sort of production schedule where stories are always in one form or stage of the process.
Causes James Buchanan Supports
Expanding health care in the US, ending war as a viable tool of foreign policy, and issues related to social justice in general.