Stages of Working on a Writing Project, Ranked

Here is a list of the stages I go through when working on a writing project, ranked from most favorite to least:

  1. Reading the thing two (or more) months later, and thinking, “This isn’t so bad”*
  2. Having the idea in the first place, getting excited about the possibilities
  3. Finishing the last round of completely taking the thing apart, altering it fundamentally, and putting it back together, at last with a coherent idea of what it actually is
  4. Writing the first draft
  5. Revising the first draft
  6. Having, at last, the coherent idea of what the thing actually is, and at the same time realizing that the entire thing will need to be taken apart, altered fundamentally, and put back together
  7. Submitting/querying
  8. Reading the thing shortly after having submitted/queried, wincing in agony at the execrable quality

*Note: Not applicable in all cases