Tell me again why I wanted to become a writer?
Today, I finished the first draft of a book that I think might have a huge audience. A book whose conceit, when I explain it to people, elicits broad smiles and moans that can be translated as “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!” Of course, it’s only a first draft, and I’m not sure I can really make it work as well as my instincts tell me it should, but still, it’s done. I have a first draft now, and I can hammer and pull and prod and snip it to my heart’s content.
Feelings of accomplishment today? Nada. Bupkis. Zilch. Whatever funny word you can come up with meaning “zero.”
I tell myself, first drafts always suck. They’re just first drafts. They’re supposed to suck.
I tell myself, hey, you created something out of nothing. You persevered instead of quitting.
I tell myself, all writers hate their first efforts, and all the good ones are unsatisfied with their work even after the work is published.
Now, I can already hear the voice of Livia Soprano rasping, “Oh poor you!” Not looking for any sympathy here. I just wanted to spit a bad taste out of my mouth. With hard work and a lot of luck and inspiration, I’ll have some kind of book to show people in the near future. And that’s a rare accomplishment, especially for me. Someday I’ll get used to this vaporous feeling of non-accomplishment, the vaguely uneasy feeling that hangs around projects at this stage of completion. Or maybe not. All I can say for sure is, it comes with my territory.