Back to the old

A while ago I gave my first few chapters to some friends to read. It was terrifying, and I immediately regretted it. Nothing felt ready. As soon as it left my hands, I thought of a million things I could have fixed.
Part of me didn’t want to hear their criticism. I knew that things needed to be fixed, I knew what was wrong. I knew there was still so much work to be done. Hearing that from other people was scary.
The feedback I got was surprising. I spent a few weeks thinking about what they had said, and realized that they were right. I made a rookie mistake. I packed too much information in the first chapters. I had spent so much time on this story over the past few years that I forgot that no one else knows the details.
My friends suggested adding information and details to the first chapter, divide it into three chapters. It made sense. I had a whole stack of scenes from my very first draft that I tossed out. Well, my computer had tossed most of them for me. (I wrote about my horrifying computer crash before. Mid sentence my old computer crashed, taking all my hard work with it.) I had deemed the first scenes I had ever written for this book unfit for the rest of the story. I lost all of my typed pages, but the stacks of handwritten notes are still with my more recent notes. I have a hard time letting go of any of my writing, no matter how questionable I find it later.
It’s funny, to me at least, that the very thing my story was missing was the first thing I cut. I remember contemplating tossing out those first pages I wrote, just before I turned in my opening chapters. I’m glad I kept them, even though some of the writing isn’t the best, the idea is still there and I can build off of that.
I still have most of the stuff I’ve ever written, even the hilarious stories I wrote as a child. I like to see how my writing has progressed, and look over some of the ideas I’ve had. Sometimes I can improve them. Sometimes, it’s just best to look at them and laugh.
That’s why I strongly encourage people to keep everything they’ve written. Who knows when you might find something good in a crazy old story you wrote?
Keep writing, people, and thanks for reading

About Jess

I'm just going to keep writing until I run out of words
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