With their help, a new discipline in me was born. Visualize the story. Get a feeling for it. Get to know my characters. Help them fit into the story that I'm trying to convey. THEN FINISH THE STORY. After I've finished, then and ONLY THEN should the revisions begin.
Don't mind that it sucks the first time around. Push back the thoughts that no one except your mother who's obligated to tell you how awesomesauce you are will read the pile of crap you've just unloaded on that unwitting MS Word document. Or that grammar, syntax, plot holes, and general vortex-inducing mistakes are all over that bad boy.
Forget it all.
Keeping that very simple, very focused goal was what helped me to overlook the suckery of the first draft blues. I found this method worked better than my previous revise-as-you-go strategy because of two very important reasons:
1) All writers are their own worst critics and there will always be room to revise SOMETHING. This makes finishing that first draft milestone seem highly unreachable.
2) Stopping in the middle to change something may prevent further development of something already existing.
How do you know scene x wasn't going to work? Does the flow really work well if scene y was taken out, only to make sense because of a future scene yet to be written? I'm sure there are other questions that could totally point out how valid the aforementioned reasons are, but I'll try not to write a novella of a blog post.
What brought on this sudden clarity? This A-Ha! moment, so to speak? Well, besides my previously mentioned stellar CPs. *laughs*
I'm currently writing the last, yes folks, the LAST chapter of my current WIP. *insert totally excited girly squee here* And let me tell you, it didn't come without much ass kicking and chapter bribery *cough*LORI*cough* from my critique partners! But I'm on the horizon of a great milestone in my feeble attempt at trying out this I-wanna-be-a-writer business. My very first completed manuscript. Okay, not totally completed because the ridiculous amount of revisions is just beyond that horizon, but hey...let me enjoy the pink sparkly moment, will ya? *throws pink confetti just because*
How did you finally make it to that first draft finish line? Did you revise as you wrote or wait until the end?