June 14th, 2010


Ignorance Is Bliss . . . Or Is It?

Most writers love first drafts. I understand the fascination. First drafts are like a rejuvenating Spring rain. All these words collect in your mind and when the conditions are right (fanny in chair, fingers over keyboard) the words flow from you mind onto the computer screen. The words are fresh and crisp and vibrant. The words are uncensored, unrestrained. Pooled, the words are a fantastic story . . . you hope.


First drafts are the epitome of the term: ignorance is bliss.  


The second draft (and the many that follow) is when a writer’s eyes are opened. Frolicking is over. Ignorance is booted out the backdoor. In the light of a new day, the words you believed were signs or your brilliance appear as evidence of your delusional state of mind. Typos have run amok. Characters are deflated, lifeless. And the plot . . . well you took one or two (or who’s-really-counting?) wrong turns.


Maybe you long for those carefree, Spring-rain days. Don’t. To create something beautiful you have to toil, sweat, eat lots of chocolate, growl at your computer, threaten to stop writing forever (okay, maybe that is just me), then SEE what needs to be changed and set about changing it. Ignorance is bliss, until it’s not. This is typically the moment when you decide you want your story to be remarkable. You refuse to settle for the first words that came to mind. You want the best words that reside in your mind. The moment you uncover something new about a character, your curiosity is piqued. You want to revise, to discover.


Enjoy the first draft. Enjoy its freedom. Then embrace knowing and seeing and changing. That is where true bliss resides.

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