A few months ago I hit the 40,000 word mark (half way) in my first draft of BLACK MOON, the sequel to BLOOD MOON. And then promptly decided I hated it.
I’d known it wasn’t right since about 20,000 words, but the idea of starting over completely freaked me out, so I pushed forward. I forced it. Finally, I had my husband read it and he said out loud what I’d known all along, “It’s not good, babe.”
So I scrapped the whole thing and started over.
Edwin Land, scientist, inventor and co-founder of Polaroid, said, “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
Creativity is a process, a complicated one, and sometimes it means knowing when to start over, begin again. This can be said of writing novels, painting a picture, creating a recipe – anything. It was agonizing to look at all those words, all those hours of work, and know I had to leave them behind. But it was also somewhat liberating, knowing I could move forward and do better.
The second attempt of BLACK MOON is so much better. It’s more true to the characters and to me as an author.
There is art in a second try.
Ever had this happen to you on a project, any project? How did starting over help?