Here's what is currently on our coffee table: the rough draft of my novel. Most of the rough draft is staying, the stuff on the left -- maybe 3/5, maybe even 3/4. The stuff on the right is going away. The stuff that is staying is about to go through some major, major rewriting.
The chucking/major-rewriting is what you do -- what everyone does -- so the following remains a mystery:
- Why I somehow assume (and always assume) that whatever I write is going to emerge as this brilliant and perfect thing the first time around.
- Why -- even though I somehow know 1. is never going to happen -- I hope no one else will notice, which is also never the case.
- Why I despair when facing 1. & 2., even though it always happens, and then temporarily give up on the thing.
- Why I end up forgetting that there are ways one goes about fixing, finessing, and making something not-currently-awesome into something awesome -- and that they are not terribly mysterious, or even that laborious.
- Why I will forget this entire cycle the next time around.
Nabokov had some pretty strong words re. folks who displayed their rough drafts ("Only ambitious nonentities and hearty mediocrities exhibit their rough drafts. It is like passing around samples of one's sputum.") So by way of apology for all the spit here is what is currently on our bay window (blanket, basket, Hodge, fox, elephant, flowers).