You wrote a book. It’s good but not great. You find yourself fiddling with the words. Moving a verb here and knocking out an adjective only to replace it a couple of days later. You’re at a loss. You don’t know what to do. You don’t know how to get to the next draft.
Throw it away. Delete it. Put it in a wastebasket and set it on fire.
Writers are emotional. We love our pages. They might as well be written in our blood. That’s why we’re such shitty editors of our own work. I love all of my first drafts. I love them so much that I have a difficult time seeing all of the glaring problems that anyone else can plainly see.
By getting rid of the draft and starting over, I can free myself. I can let go of the witty lines and pretty prose. Tackling the problems that seemed too huge before is easy now because I have a blank slate. Nothing is impossible anymore.
It’s like writing a brand new book, except that, having already completed a draft, I have a much clearer idea what the book is about.
Sometimes, the only way to fix a thing is to destroy it.
The only way to start over is to let go of the past.