Mind Games


Once again, doubt creeps in. Actually it’s Doubt’s brother, Ridicule, but these brothers are a tight team and wherever Ridicule goes, Doubt is quick to follow. I am so close to finishing my first draft, literally weeks away, and now I’m questioning everything.

I feel like my story falters too often. My characters are weak and let the world run them over, rather than them pushing the story. My dialogue is laughable, predictable, and overused. I wonder, would a reader be bored by now?

Then I start to edit, which is a mistake. I’ve already learned that lesson: finish the first draft, THEN edit. Fighting the urge to tear things apart is difficult, but when I slip and start to edit I again realize what I already know. The first draft is raw. It is meant to be raw.

Editing is what makes a novel into the full grown, well nurtured adult to be sent out on its own. Worrying about a novel’s quality during the writing of the first draft is like worrying if your baby will be accepted into a good college when it’s a month behind in learning to stack blocks.

All of these mind games are pointless and I wish I didn’t have to fake confidence, but luckily I am extremely stubborn. I’m still going. Still writing. I’m already working on my query letter and sharpening my red pencils. Very soon I will have finished my first draft. Whatever mind games I choose to play, I will win and I plan on shouting my victory. Yahtzee! Checkmate! Uno! The End!


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