Good Grief

Reading your own first drafts is sort of an ordeal, and it quite neatly and appropriately follows the five stages of grief.

Denial:
I feel fine. I can do this. I’m not that bad of a writer. Hell, I might even surprise myself. I might not have to do that much! Maybe I’m some sort of literary genius and I just didn’t know it until now. Shakespeare wrote on weird paper with a stick or a feather or something, how many drafts could he have actually done? And people still like him! Even though someone tried to make out that Rhys Ifans actually wrote all those plays. When is he going to be in a good movie again, he was so great in Notting Hill. 

Anger:
WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN? WHO WROTE THIS? HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW ANY DIFFERENT WAY OF SAYING ‘SAID?’ WHY IS THIS PERSON SMILING EVERY TWO LINES? WHAT EVEN IS YOUR MYTHOS YOU ARE SO CLEARLY MAKING SHIT UP AS YOU’RE GOING ALONG DID YOU NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT THE POOR ASSHOLE WHO HAS TO COME ALONG AND CLEAN UP YOUR MEANDERING PLOTHOLES? DID YOU? NO. YOU DIDN’T. YOU ARE A TERRIBLE PERSON AND YOU SHOULD JUST QUIT THIS WRITING THING AND FIND A RICH HUSBAND, OH WAIT, YOU’RE A FEMINIST. HAHAHA YOU’RE GOING TO DIE ALONE, POOR AND UNPUBLISHED. AND IN A WORLD WHERE SELF PUBLISHING IS EASY AND FREE, THAT IS EXTRA, EXTRA SAD. 

Bargaining:  
Look, okay, maybe we can just pay someone to do this for us. Like, so the point of self publishing and editing all of this yourself was because editors are expensive and the ones on the internet are probably scam artists of the highest degree but come on. You can just skip your next few haircuts and dye your hair from a $5 box like normal people and let someone else do all of this. You know how much you like lying down. Go on.

Depression:
Oh, God. I wrote this. I actually wrote this. I wrote this and I’ve already told people about it. I wonder if I need to actually write something good before I can pull a Sylvia Plath. Oh, yeah. I do. Oh, God. 

Acceptance:
Oh, for Christ’s sake. All first drafts are completely terrible. Even great writers write complete horseshit the first time round. You never plan properly and you always ditch the plan you didn’t make anyway so of course it’s full of plotholes and rambling. You ramble. It’s your thing. Now stop blog-whinging about it and get back to work. 

Yes, brain.