The first draft of my first novel is officially out of the drawer now, and going through this first round of edits has brought on some realizations.
First and foremost, there are a lot (and I mean A LOT) of "I wrote this?" moments. And that can be both good and bad. Sometimes it's "Ugh, I can't believe I wrote this!" Other times it's more fulfilling "Hey. Wow. I wrote this."
I haven't decided which one of these I get more out of. While I like the good stuff, and it's good for the confidence, the stuff I don't like probably produces more. It opens up more re-working and (hopefully) improving what I've done.
I haven't decided if I like this process. Re-writing and editing is a completely different animal than writing. It's more pain-staking, and it's a real thinker. I stare at a sentence or two for long periods of time, contemplating better ways to tell the tale. It's tough.
When I write, I just sit down and write. Now I'm being critical of my own work, and I have to make sure that I'm the biggest critic. That usually isn't a problem, but I have to be conscious of everything. When I'm writing, I could pretty much close my eyes and go sometimes. Now I'm sitting a couple inches away from my screen, moving the blocks around.
The thing I'm most proud of is that I was able to leave this thing in the drawer for as long as I did. Eight weeks I stayed away from this thing. I was ultra-proud to have finished the first draft, and I think I've got a good story.
Now I'm making it better.