As I prepare to start writing Broken Angel, the prequel to my very first novel, Earth Angel, I was forced with the arduous (and somewhat self-loathing task) of re-reading that first sloppy plunge I took into writing and self-publishing. I must say, in complete modesty, that I was shocked to find I still loved the story! There were a few things I would change here and there, nothing major, but what I didn’t love was what the editor (whom I paid an amount I never wish to speak of again) did to my first baby- the long paragraphs with different thoughts running together, the placement of dialogue, so many things stuck out to me like a sore thumb and I’m sure to readers as a big flashing sign that said “This writer is new and doesn’t know what she’s doing!”
It’s always important to never forget how far you’ve come along. If you reread your first book and think “ick, yuck, was that even me who wrote that?” Don’t get down in the dumps over it and hate yourself and everything you write (as us writers are often known to do). Just smile and say “Wow, I have improved so much!” That’s exactly what I said when I finished reading my first novel over a year after I released it. But it left me with another obsession. Now that I know I’m a much better writer I want to completely redo Earth Angel so that it is up to my current standards. I want it to be something I can say I’m 100% completely proud of, and as of right now I’d say I’m only 78% proud of it.
I have to ask myself, though, as I lay awake in my bed, avoiding the call of sleep for too many hours, to what end? With the way authors can self-publish these days, it seems like we can just update our books any time we want, continually forever and ever amen if we so choose. But is that really productive? I wish I could say I knew the answer to that question, but sadly I don’t. I like to think that this en devour I’m undertaking withEarth Angel is not a waste and I’m also hoping that when I re-read it in another year to write the next chapter in the saga that I don’t feel the same way because my writing skills have once again improved. All I know is that right now, after the words and mistakes are still fresh in my mind, I can’t think of anything but correcting them and then moving on with the story. I’m hoping that it will only take me two weeks to complete, but I’m not rushing it. If I need a month then I have that month to spare. I can’t wait to get started!
PS sorry this post was late. I’ll try to be better about it in the future, but as I’m not writing for the rest of this month, there really shouldn’t be a whole lot for me to share with you. Enjoy the holidays!
2 thoughts on “Remember How Far You’ve Come”
I needed this. Every word written is for improvement. You need to start somewhere.
I have some short stories from when I was young and I had a similar experience that you described while rereading them. I expected them to be terrible, but they were half decent.
I think it’s important we look back to see how far we’ve come.
Till next time!
Thanks for commenting! Every once in a while I need to do this, look back, and realize I have made improvements. Sometimes the little ones can go unnoticed, but they make a huge difference in the big picture. That’s awesome you still have stories from when you were younger! I wish I still had more of mine.