Instead of working on a new project last night, I opened up the beginning of a work in progress novel and reread the first few chapters. It felt like visiting a old friend from high school, even though I wrote it long after I left public education. The sentiment was still there. I still loved the story. It was the writing that threw me for a loop.
As I read through, enjoying the story, I had to fight the urge to edit it extensively. That wasn’t in my plans for the evening and I don’t intend to work on that novel for a while anyway. The deep-seated urge taught me something however.
I know I’m becoming a better writer. I can tell easily because I used to suck.
The writing in this vampire novel that I was working on a year or two ago was sophomoric and clumsy. Adverbs danced with speech tags that made no sense and descriptions that went nowhere. It was frankly embarrassing.
Finding out that my writing is getting a lot better was bittersweet. Of course, I am very glad that I write better now than I did two years ago. On the other hand, it only shows me how much work I have to do in order to get any of my novels or short stories ready for publication. It also scares me a bit that, if I get much better in the next two years, I will have to rewrite everything again.