Waving with my hand, smiling with my mouth
We've all got evidence from somewhere in our childhoods that mom thought our artwork was awesome. Frame-worthy. My mom's particularly great at this kind of stuff: She has a framed picture of a hamburger I did in pastel in an art class — taken from an Arby's ad — hanging in her kitchen. I was 14. The drawing has less depth than a puddle, but parts of it are quite good.
Those are the parts the art teacher helped me with.
Suffice it to say: Looking back on creative endeavors is a harsh mirror to throw on yourself. Stuff you thought was awesome at the time … well, just add ten years and get back to me. I'm sure there are loads of artists who think their work is still the sliced bread of the day no matter how old it gets, but either they're geniuses or they're delusional. The writing stays the same. We change. And so, we see the writing differently.
I've put aside the crime book I was working on, as it came up to a wall and would not budge. Instead, I pulled down from the virtual shelf a fantasy book I wrote in the 1990s which, at the time, I was quite proud of. About 175,000 words of proud. Let me tell you, I prouded all over that thing, full of enormous paragraphs and overdescription and phrases like "he waved with his hand." I suppose you do need to indicate to your readers that one is not waving with, say, one's foot but c'mon. This is the stuff you see with practice. This is not the stuff you see when you're prouding it all over the place.
The bones aren't bad. I like the characters. The premise — well, the problem is when I wrote it urban fantasy wasn't really a thing, and now it's kind of thinged-out, so nice job on that lady. The premise works, I think (I'll have to keep using my scythe to cut through it all before I know for certain). I did a ton of research on it, and that holds up. And since I wrote it we have the internet, which is awesome for doing fast and dirty translations, which I can get fixed up properly later.
But meanwhile, yeah; it's like going through your old yearbook photos. I wore my hair like that? Why am I sitting that way? But for writing, it's like gee, I guess there wasn't an adjective I didn't love. Yes, I was fine back then with moving between POV in the same scene. Not so much now. It was written by an adult, but not necessarily a grown-up. So, we'll see. Maybe there's another wall I still have to run into. But for now, this is what I'm choosing to do in lieu of creating something fresh: I'm looking at old pictures, and grimacing — then pulling out the word Photoshop. We will rebuild!