When I was writing the first draft I took the advice of my friend and mentor, Katrina Kittle, and put everything down. She assured me that I could go back and edit, cut, revise, and polish to make it all work. Now as I've finished the first draft, I'm doing some minor revisions to cut the things I may have dropped later on as I was writing. I'm also doing minor revisions, correcting grammar and making sure all the characters names and facts are consistent, etc. Mostly, I'm reading my novel.
I know it sounds like a silly thing that I'm reading my own novel, but there were pages in the middle that I was cranking out and haven't looked back on so I didn't remember them all that well. Certain scenes meant to build character or sprinkle exposition throughout became part of what I knew about the characters, but I had forgotten how I had written them.
As I read through it, and at the risk of sounding egotistical, I like it. I actually like what I've written, which is pretty good for me since I tend to be overly critical of my own work. Mind you, it will still need revisions and polishing, some of it I'll need to clarify, but overall, I'm not ashamed to show it to my first readers.
What began as a childhood dream is starting to look like it could become reality. I don't delude myself into thinking that it's an easy road, but it is one I feel prepared to explore.
I love days like this. Someone please remind me of this when I'm having those days of self doubt.