I had a nice book recommendation post almost ready to go for today, but I felt the need to wax eloquent on a different subject: crap.
Stay with me here! Not literally. We're talking figurative crap.
**Complete aside--Do you know how hard it is to find a picture for this subject that isn't sick and disgusting? I thought this was nice compromise. AND I was able to find some really cute cow cartoons that I'll be sharing next week. I'm still giggling over them.**
What I'm talking about is your rough draft. Now lean in closer and I'll tell you a secret. Closer... Closer... *whispering dramatically* Rough drafts are pretty much crap. And guess what? That's okay.
If you're like me, then deep down you have this little kernel of a dream, even though you know it's really silly, but it's still there waiting to pop like a kernel of delicious popcorn dripping in butter with just the right amount of salt (yum). *cough* Anyway, you dream about sitting at the computer, putting fingers to keys, and the most amazing story just flows from your brain to the screen. And it's perfect and wonderful, and the world is filled with daisies and fluffy bunnies and happiness and joy abounds. *angelic choirs singing*
(Isn't he cuuuuuute?! *squeal*)
Yeah, well. I don't know if that ever happens for *any* writer. Sooo, you might as well come to grips with the reality.
Sorry, no daisies, bunnies, or angelic choirs.
The rough draft is rough. In fact, it's most likely a bit terrible. I know I've said this before, but I think many writers strangle themselves on their own unrealistic perfectionism. And I say this because I was one of them. I LOVE books. And I read a lot of them. And so I knew that what I was writing was, in comparison to books I read and love, really terrible. Horrible. And so I would toss the book I was working on into the darkest depths of some box in my basement (or -gasp!- into the Recycling Bin).
Things really started working for me the day I finally realized, and internalized, the truth that my rough drafts are crap.
But the rough draft allows you to oil up your muse and gives you a framework to expand on. We watched our house be built from empty lot to completed home. And I have to tell you that a lot of the beginning steps were pretty darn ugly.
When they poured the foundation and there were bits of rebar sticking out of it, it was not attractive at all. (Very much like my outlines.) Then they put down the floorboards and started framing the house. That's your rough draft. Without that framework you can't ever get to a finished house with some stucco (but not the one style that looks like smoke damage so that everyone calls your house "The Haunted House" and uses it as a landmark like the one around the corner) and maybe some flower boxes on the windows, or a nice front porch with a swing. You have to start with the ugly framework.
So, the moral of this rambling post? Embrace the crap.