I step away from my desk. I sit on the couch with my stack of paperclipped chapters, a 5-subject notebook, and a red pen. And I read it like I'm critting for someone else. (And, judging from the notes I leave, someone else I really don't care about pissing off.) I make it bleed. Slash, scribble, astute observation (aka nasty remark), underline, question mark... you get the gist.
Right now, I'm attacking my 2010 NaNo novel. I tried to get back to it in February, but happenstance #2 occurred. Rather than delete the damn thing from my harddrive and every backup source, I put it away until I could be more objective. Fast forward to June. After we got back from Fort Collins, I sat down and started printing. And you know what?
Once I fixed the beginning - which well and truly sucked - I really like this book. Sure, it's got a few problems - it is a first draft, after all - but it's not nearly as crappy as I thought back in February. The flow is good. I'm feeling myself caring about the characters again. The plot twists I put in are surprising even me. Yep. This one is a winner.*
How are things going in your writing? Ever pick up a manuscript to edit it and feel like it's #2? How do you get past the #2 feeling?
*Yeah, I think they're all winners until the rejections start pouring in and then I feel like a loser. It's a vicious cycle, but it's my chosen endeavor, so I'm going with it.