Once you get to the end of your first draft, you’ll fall into one of two camps.
The “OMG THIS IS AWESOME WRITING!!!” Perky Writers and
The “HOLY SHIT THIS SUCKS” Emo Writers.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be on an island in the middle. And friendly with campers on both sides. Actually, I think this situation is by far more preferable to either of the above camps.
Why? Well. You think that the Perkies are best? No. Because Perkies tend not to have a clue as to the depth of the suckiness in their first drafts. I mean… Really. I don’t think I know anyone who writes a publishable first draft. And as unassuming as I am, I think I’d secretly hate that person if I did. Ahem. There’s also a special class of Perky. The Delusional. Don’t be one. They’re usually the least popular kids at camp. Seriously. Other writers often want to drown them.
On the other end are the Emos. They don’t think that anything they produce is worthwhile. So. When they edit, there’s a serious risk that they’ll cut out too much, even jewels that really should have stayed. They have been known to take out a story’s very soul during edits. Because they just can’t stop tweaking.
See? The island is best. Come chill out away from the terrible over-confidence or the negativity. How? By taking a break. Catch up on t.v. Write something else. Paint. Take that non-writing holiday you sort of planned. Don’t read your story or work on it for a while. By this I mean, if you remember a detail from something you wrote a few weeks ago, leave the book alone. What you want is the thrill of discovering something new every time you open your WiP to work on it. This includes rewrites, revisions and EVERY. SINGLE. ROUND. OF. EDITS.
Because if you veer towards either camp mentioned above, your edits are sunk until you can be neutral about your work again.
So, veteran novelists. Which camp do you usually belong to? How do you prefer to get away from your book?