Yay! Yay! Yay!
Two things are going through my brain right now. First, I am so super excited to have finished the draft and to be able to say that I am done (for now) and let my brain rest for awhile. This draft was hard to finish, and I worked really long on it. I enjoyed it, but it was not easy. I do think that this draft is much better than the first one and am much more excited about it than the first draft, but it wasn’t butterscotch cupcakes and sunshine. Actually, today is, because that’s what I had for breakfast and it’s sunny as I type. I’m about to take the dogs to the dog park (but don’t tell them yet).
The second thing going through my brain is what my beta readers are thinking of it (or whether they are even reading it!) I know there are probably so many problems, and I’m really anxious about what my beta-readers say about it. They have it right now, and I’m pretty terrified. I usually don’t let other people read my work. I’ve been in workshops before, and that can be really stressful and I don’t always like it. There’s something dreadful about taking this thing you’ve spent hours and hours on and letting people at it with red pens of death. So I’ve never really done it and never really minded, but now I am. I want my work to be publishable and that means other people have to read it. Sometimes when it’s not very good.
And especially with this genre I’m even more anxious. I feel like I’m opening myself up to all sorts of snickers from a few of my friends who don’t read this type of fiction and will, next time I see them, think to themselves about all the ways I described “doing it”. I did grow up with a Southern Baptist mother who used to criticize if she saw any skin that could even possibly be considered cleavage. Being so open about sex feels uncomfortable for me.
But, I know that I can fix it, and I can make it better after I take a break and get feedback. And I know this next comment is weird and doesn’t work for everyone and I don’t want this to be a habitual way of thinking for me, but when I get so caught up with trying to make every little, goddamned thing perfect, and worrying about the universe collapsing if I don’t get it right, and having panic attacks about grammar, or accuracy, or believability, I like to remind myself of all the crap romance novels I’ve read out there. Or all the ones by authors I really like that fell a little flat for me. I don’t want to be a crappy writer, but they’re like talismans, reminders that they do not have to be perfect. And with each novel I’ll get better.