Last Thursday was Halloween. My girlie dressed up as Princess Leia, and our dog donned some pretty awesome Yoda ears. They got lots of compliments as we cruised through the neighborhood in search of candy…
Last Thursday was big for another reason, too…
I FINALLY finished drafting the WiP I started back in April!
Confession: It’s been three years since I finished a full first draft. Don’t misunderstand — I’ve done plenty of writing. I “won” NaNo last year, but after logging 50,012 words I realized my story was going nowhere. It was boring and utterly plotless. I haven’t opened the file since November 30, 2012. I also completely rewrote a manuscript called All Mixed Up, one I started during the summer of 2009. We’ll see where it goes. And of course, I’ve been revising my tail off, various manuscripts that have been through many, many rounds and seen many, many drafts. They’re better for it, and I’m a better writer because of the brainstorming/reworking /editing they’ve required.
But, the fact is, it’s been ages since I finished a full story, beginning-middle-end, and that realization has been looming in a very scary way for quite awhile. I’ve had all the writerly doubts: Can I really do this? Am I good enough? What if I’m never good enough? Maybe this writing thing’s not for me. The doubts and the fear have been somewhat paralyzing, to be completely honest. But, as I’ve talked about before, I just don’t have it in me to give up. So, I plotted and I drafted through a spring, summer, and fall of personal ups and downs. I jumped feet-first into Ready. Set. Write! and I leaned on my writing buddies, who said amazing things like you are talented and that excerpt was beautiful and hurry up and finish so I can read this story! Somehow, my little nugget of an idea grew and grew and grew into an entire manuscript.
Frankly, I’m still having trouble believing that I’m done. I wrote a whole story!
Of course, I use the term “done” very loosely. My draft is a messy, incoherent beast full of plot holes and underdeveloped supporting characters. It needs A LOT of attention. But, it’s a full draft, something to work with. There’s a semblance of plot I’m excited to amend and shape and edit. I believe in these characters and I’m energized by their stories. I can’t wait to revise!
Speaking of revising… My friend Alison Miller had the most excellent idea to use NaNoWriMo’s energy as motivation for a month of revising. We’re diving into our manuscripts today, and we’ve already recruited a few friends to join us in our own little NaNoReviseMo. We’d love it if you participated too! We’re keeping it casual with quick blog updates, Twitter writing parties (I’m HERE and Alison is HERE), and lots of cheering and encouragement. If you plan on joining, please do leave a comment so I can be sure I’m following your blog.
For now, *cheers* to finished drafts and successful revisions!