First drafts are always horrible and ugly. Don’t worry about that – it’s the same for everyone. Just remember that the first draft is as bad as the book is ever going to be, and if you keep redrafting, one day you will look at your horrible book and realize that you’ve turned it into something actually quite beautiful.

– Robin Stevens, author of the Murder Most Unladylike series

This quote makes me smile. Especially now that I’m a little further in the writing process than I was five years ago. Had I read it then, very likely I would have responded with something like “Oh, no, this is my work.” As if just by the action of the words landing on the paper they were somehow precious and perfect. Guffaw!

Now, I understand it’s more important for me to get the words out (what’s that expression, “Better out, than in”?) and then later I can shape, adapt, mold them into something beautiful. Moreover, better to have my trusted editor and an outside reader check me as well. They are critical to the process. I especially love when I get an edit back from my editor and she writes in the edit column, “Huh?” or “I don’t understand” In reality, I think she’s saying “WTF?” but chooses her big girl words so we can have a meaningful dialogue about whatever passage I’ve managed to bungle.

It’s kind of a cool thing, like most things in life to be okay with the fact that I’m not going to get it right the first time. Or even the second, or the third. But somewhere from the rough draft to the final I craft something lovely and meaningful. And even cooler is the fact that the end result may not look much like where I started but it’s the way it’s supposed to be.