This post came about when several people on a listserve from the Donald Maass workshops mentioned about their fears/concerns about rewriting after attending a workshop. The main fear? "I thought I was the only one completely rewriting my w.i.p.!"
Why this fear? Why not be afraid that you'll never finish? And if you do it'll never be published? Aren't these bigger fears? Look to the photos for my answer. Which one was taken first? The best of the bunch, the three shot that's in focus and has the interest of the unusual salt-and-pepper shakers in the shot.
Therein lies the big rub--what if the first version is the best of the bunch? Has the most energy? That can happen--and as I said in previous posts, endless re-writing can destroy a w.i.p. How to know? How much is too much? How little is too little?
Perhaps a better question would be: should I only have taken the one photo? No. I had no way of knowing which photo would be the best of the bunch. Sometimes I even prefer the out-of-focus photos. You never know what you're going to get and what will succeed until you try several things.
Taking this idea over to drafts, do more than one and keep all of them. Go back when you have a tiny semblance of objectivity and see which one is better. Trust that your writing will improve with more writing. Trust the inner voice that says, "Enough."
Does this resonate with you? Do you limit your drafts or go by instinct to know when you're "done"? How about if you've attended a workshop, do you doubt or feel more confident?