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My Two Cents on Being Proud of What You Wrote

Hello there lovelies! It's the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and this week I'd planned to give you what I'm thankful for. But in true RRR fashion, I decided to go a little rogue. It's kinda along the same lines, but today I'm giving you My Two Cents on Being Proud of What You Wrote.

So this holiday week I spent most of my ‘free’ time (😂) beta reading a friend’s new book. I loved it, but it was an early draft so of course there was some room for improvement. As I went to send it back to her, I made sure to remind her—SEVERAL times—that I liked the story, and that all my comments were just meant to help her improve, not cut her down. And as I wrote it, I thought, gosh why are we as a community so damn hard on ourselves? If you're a member of bookstagram, you can't scroll for one minute without coming across a meme or a reel dedicated to that exact sentiment. 

We achieve the accomplishment of writing an entire ass novel and then immediately start hating it. As if anything great was ever great after the first draft. In keeping with our Thanksgiving theme, did you know there were an estimated 120 printed drafts of the US Constitution before it became final? (and aren’t parts of that thing kind of a joke…but I digress) There are generally 100s of drafts before a bill becomes law. And on average, novels go through 10 distinctly different drafts before they are ready for publishing.

The point is, nothing is ever perfect the first time, so why do we expect it to be? And why are we so hard on ourselves when we get feedback telling us what we already know, which is that the story is great but here are some things that will make it greater?

As most of you know, I have a story published on Kindle Vella called Someone’s Always Watching (find it here: Shameless plug but the point is, I have had a HUGE slump in inspiration lately, and I haven't written a new episode in a couple months. But after reading the aforementioned manuscript, I felt inspired to go back and try to complete that story. So I decided the best way to go about that is to read it again from the beginning, and you know what I found?

That story is pretty damn good! Have you ever read something you wrote and cringed? Like, damn, I can't believe I ever let anyone else see that dribble? Well this is the complete opposite sensation! I read the page below and thought, damn, how is this not a bestseller already? I wrote that?!?

It doesn't happen often but when it does, I think it's important to take a moment and celebrate it. As we are inundated daily with reminders that it's okay to think what you write is total shit, because it is truly part of the process. It's also okay to read what you wrote and be proud of it. It's okay to take a moment and pat yourself on the back, and give yourself props for a job well done! 

Here’s a short snip of what I felt so proud of:

When I read back what I wrote, I generally have already read it 100s of times, so I'm pretty desensitized to anything that a reader might like. But here I felt like an independent reader, reading someone else’s writing for the pure love of reading. The description of the narrator's surroundings were so rich. “The brisk cadence of the cricket orchestra…” How can you help but hear that? “Heat waves danced…” “safety of the rickety wooden dock” I mean, I really did a good job of making the reader understand how she was feeling. And the mystery of where everyone and everything is… chilling.

Not to toot my own horn too much, but seriously, TOOT MOTHERFUCKIN’ TOOT, am-I-right? 😂

I'm kidding—mostly— but, the point is it is very reasonable and actually encouraged to find things in your writing that you LOVE! It's okay and even great to feel proud of yourself. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't, because ultimately if you want to make it as a writer, and not drown in a sea of self-doubt, you have to believe in yourself. It's easy to fall into the bad habit of allowing yourself to only see the bad, so my suggestion is that as you read back your current WIP, make sure you try this—for every 2 ‘bad’ or negative things you point out to yourself, find one good one. Something you're proud of, something that reminds you why you thought you'd be good at this. It can be a big chunk like the one above, or even just a character trait, or a funny joke, or a descriptive line. Anything that reminds you of what you have to be proud of! 

So that's it folks, that's My Two Cents on Being Proud of What You Wrote. Be kind to yourself, because as we all know, the world isn't always going to do it for you. Congratulations on whatever amount of words you've written, edited, or read. And if you’re new to the book community, welcome! We're glad to have you, and don't forget to tell your favorite writers you love them!

Happy Sunday folks! Have a great week!


-Rose Rayne Rivers

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