I think I'm finally ready to admit this—I'm a rewriter.
I've tried to deny it for a long time. "Oh, regular revisions will be enough," I told myself. "I won't have to redo more than half my book this time. I'm a better writer now. I won't have as many mistakes as I did before."
I really wish it wasn't the case, because rewriting takes a lot of work mentally and emotionally. But I am one of those writers who just can't get it right the first go around. Not even close to right. It doesn't matter if I have an outline or not—it just doesn't come together well enough to avoid major (as in 50% of the book or more) rewriting. I can't think of a single one of my projects that doesn't need some major overhaul.
Being a rewriter, I'm learning, comes with one major problem: You constantly think you suck.
It's hard not to! I mean, everything I ever write will basically have to be thrown out and done over. It's really easy to think that I'm hopelessly incapable of writing a decent story—even when I put months and months of work into it. And writing anything new becomes nearly impossible, since all I can think is how in a year I'll be REwriting it all. And if I really suck that bad, then why the heck am I doing this at all? Why shouldn't I just give up?
See what I mean? Being a rewriter can really wear down your confidence.
So you have to put your confidence in other things, I think. I may be a sucky writer. I might have to rewrite every project for the rest of my life. But I can edit. I might even be a pretty good reviser. I can get there eventually if I work my butt off.
And maybe being a rewriter is just another way of doing this whole writing gig, just like outliners and note-takers and pen/paper...ers. Maybe this is part of my process that I will never outgrow, part I need to accept and deal with.
I'm a rewriter. I can't quite say I'm proud of that yet, but acknowledgment is the first step, right?