Almost one year after completing my novel's first draft, I'm still working on my second draft. At this point it's a little bit like facing down into an abyss and wondering if you want to continue forward and pull back.
The weird thing though is that I am facing the same problem that held me back from completing my first draft. That is - resisting the urge to rewrite as I go along. I know I am in the rewriting stage but I have also a handwritten first draft and some of these chapters were from a long time ago. I can say for sure that I've grown since then as a writer. Now, I resist the urge to completely rewrite everything, leaving nothing of the original draft.
Now, like so many years before, I wonder - do I want to continue forward or do I want to pursue something new?
Here's what stops me -
I was on a forum somewhere and browsing a question very similar to the one I'm asking now. Someone's response has stayed with me and has kept me going on the nights where I have to discipline myself to go back to this story. They said - if all you are writing is first drafts, you are only writing on that one level. Rewriting is when the work starts.
I may paraphrased a little bit, but that comment stayed with me.
This fantasy novel has been a burden I've taken on with me into adulthood. It's no longer the story I wrote as a teenager. It's now the story I'm writing as an adult. And it's work.
But do I toss it away into a drawer now because it's getting challenging? If I do that, am I moving on or will I dust it off in an unpublished future hoping that I may finally get it one day?
I have learned something from completing my first draft - keep chugging forward and quit fixing the broken trail until you've reached the other side. I will do my best to apply that lesson now. My goal? Get the damn thing typed up.
I'm just hoping that one year from now, I am not still asking this same question during my third draft.
Do you struggle with rewriting? Have you ever let go of a story? Did it feel right to you or does it plague you to this day?