Updated: Jul 20, 2020
What you see on the right is my picture. What you see on the left is a portrait my 6-year-old drew of me recently.
He worked so hard. He stuck his little tongue out in concentration, studied my face, erased, tried again, and he sat still for over 20 minutes. It was serious.
And then he handed me that.
To me these two images remind me of how I think of my WIP--the idea I picture in my head versus what I actually end up with after finishing a draft. I have to say when my son handed me that drawing it took me a moment to think of the right compliments to give him. So, I said, "I love how serious you took this and how hard you tried. I'm going to keep this to remind me to try hard and not give up." Then he said, "Well, itispretty good for my first try."
I always approach my first draft with a lot of hesitancy and worry. I worry that I won't be able to finish another novel, or that I will and it won't be any good. It's a fact that a little of the second worry is true. It won't be very good, not in the beginning.
That portrait is hanging in my workspace. I'm hoping that I can remind myself of the pride that comes with completing something new rather than dwelling on the disappointment in that first try's imperfections. There's a lot to be said for sticking with an idea it all the way through to the end, and trying my best all the while knowing that I'll have to try again and try harder to make it better.