My First Novel is Finished! Well… Sort of…

Wow! What a freaking journey.

Accomplished Feeling Writer
Just finished the first draft of my first novel.

It is done.

I have finished.

Well… sort of…

Okay, it is definitely not done. In fact, I probably am not even half way done. Damn, this sucks…

What have I completed?

I finished writing the 1st draft of the 1st novel, which I began writing (way back) in 2013. Nearly four years to the day, 105,000 words fill up a document I typed with my own creative awesomeness.

 

Here are TEN interesting things that happened along the way:

  1. All my writing was done in approximately 7 weeks, spread over 4 years.

2013- Wrote chapters 1-3 in a two week span

2014- Wrote chapters 4 & 5 in a one week span

2015- Wrote Chapters 6-9 in a two week span and chapters 10 & 11 months later, in a few days

2016- Wrote chapters 12-15 in a one week span

2017- Wrote chapters 16-21 in a one week span

That means out of the 1,460 days I could have written and finished my novel, I managed to write a whopping 49 of them. That is 1,411 days I was “too busy” to write (for that novel at least).

2. I wrote two other novels, completely unrelated, in that 4 year time frame.

So… now I have THREE UNFINISHED novels! Yeah me!

3. I started a blog, because all the marketing guru’s said it was essential to growing an audience for my unfinished book.

4. I learned I hate writing a blog.

5. Some of the most powerful writing, and deeply personal pieces of writing were done for my blog that I hate so much. Go figure.

6. My blog (yes the one you are reading now) completely killed all, ALL, momentum on my novel writing.

7. It turns out I did not finish, because I had writers block…

8. It turns out it was not writers block, really… it was plot block and I did not know it.

A random idea on how to simplify the final 3rd of the book, and still achieve the story I wanted to tell, came to me while trying to fall asleep. It had been a year since I last touched the manuscript, but the new idea revitalized me and I wrote 5 chapters in a week.

9. Support groups really are supportive!

While still stuck, but having the new idea, I had not started typing yet. I did’t know whether to just start writing, reread the previous finished pages, or edit what I had before I started writing again. So, I asked a Facebook group, Writers Helping Writers for advice on how to restart. Their wonderful encouragement is what allowed me to blaze through those 5 chapters in a week. If not for them, I still would be contemplating how to move forward with my new ideas.

10. Don’t get too excited, the fun has just begun!

I finished the first draft and realized the hard work has not even begun! Rewrites, revisions, editing, more editing, more revisions, beta-readers, more edits, more revisions. Someone… please take my manuscript from me and burn it! PLEASE! I do not think I can handle this much meticulous type-A crap, when my creative side wants to run and frolic in new adventurous lands of blank pages.

 

I write this for a few reasons…

First, I felt the need to tell the word of my accomplishment, because I feel more accomplished that way! Duh!

Secondly, and more importantly, I want to encourage any aspiring novelist out there, to keep at it. Keep trudging through the muck, no matter how bad you think it or you suck (that’s what rewrites are for), because you can do it, I promise. Not only can you do it, but it feels pretty damn incredible when you finish!

Well… sort of finish…

Happy writing friends and fellow writers. Don’t give up on your dreams.

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