I will be 100% honest. I didn’t really have a hard time writing my first draft. What I had a hard time with was actually convincing myself to sit down and start writing. I decided one afternoon I was just going to write out my thoughts in my trusty black and white composition notebook and see where that took me.
I wrote a quick synopsis and then proceeded with my chapter outlines. After that I did research and then I was ready. I think the prologue was the most difficult to write. A part of me wishes I did that after I was done but another part of me was glad I did it beforehand. I think I not only set the scene for the reader but also myself.
The first few chapters flowed pretty well but then I got to chapter four, otherwise known as in my mind, ‘The Big Reveal ‘.
It is probably the most complicated chapter in the book. Funny enough though, it’s the chapter that was to me the most emotional and fulfilling part of my journey. I wrote it out in record time. An hour and half I sat and typed away furiously. When I was done and read through everything I had written, I went from ” I can’t do this” to ” I can do this”.
It’s really quite amazing isn’t it? How you drop an apostrophe and one little letter and your whole life changes. I actually started crying when I was done for a few reasons. 1) It was really late at night and I was emotional exhausted and 2) That was the moment I started to believe in myself and my story.
One of the things I didn’t expect was how all consuming this was turning out to be. For two months I lived and breathed this book. When I wasn’t writing my mind would drift off to the story and the characters. I became obsessed but didn’t care because I had to get this out of my mind and formed into words.
My Mom, who was staying with us for several weeks, kept telling me to take the day off and relax. I laughed when she suggested this. How could I turn away from the most important work I had ever done in my life? I decided right away not to worry about spelling or grammar. It’s a first draft, it’s not going to be perfect. Instead I tried to focus on getting the bare bones of my story written out.
I wrote it in two months and at the end I wept. I had never been so proud of myself. If people hate it or laugh I don’t care because I think it’s awesome.
After the initial bliss wore off I decided to ignore the advice of most writers who tell you to walk away from it for a week or two. No, not me, I started editing my first draft right away.
Why, oh why, do I not listen to people more skilled and experienced than me?