Summer’s gone by in the blink of an eye — well, maybe a few blinks towards the end of August, when my son poked me in the eye and I suffered a corneal abrasion. But it’s not like I really need my eyes for anything important, right?
I am all healed now, thanks to a very kind ER doctor and some antibiotic drops and a hot fudge sundae (my husband administered that last “treatment,” and I really think that’s what did the trick). And I’m rounding the bend on a draft of a novel I’ve been working on all summer. I think I have about fifty pages to go. Hold your applause, though, because this is a VERY ugly draft. It’s probably the loosest, roughest thing I’ve ever written. It’s so lumpy and bumpy, I’ve been calling it my gargoyle.
My gargoyle is very hard to love in this state. In most other cases, I have abandoned my longer work when it’s gotten ugly — and nowhere near as ugly as this. Even though I made a resolution this year that I would allow for more imperfection in my life and in my work, I keep having to convince myself not to give up. And I keep having to remind myself that while this story may be a gargoyle, it is MY gargoyle. And as its (reluctant) mama, I have a responsibility to stick around and straighten it out. So I am trying to stay strong, and patient, and open-minded. I am trying not to judge myself for my sloppiness, however temporary. I am trying to remain in love with this story, (innumerable) warts and all.
How do you other writers put up with your own early, unruly, fuggo drafts? Any helpful hints?