Drafting is Like Getting Teeth Pulled out

A lot of my friends and family (and you readers!) know that I’ve completed my first draft of my novel, my baby, that I’ve have for years. I thought this would be the easiest part. Drafting would be quick and I’d be able to start the rewrite in no time. Boy was I wrong.

I don’t think I’ve had so much not fun time in my life. As I was going through the first half of the book, it was like pulling out teeth. I hated just about everything and I had to keep telling myself that it I was laying out the foundation for the rest of the novel. It wasn’t until I got to the part where I slammed it out (aka NaNo) that I actually started to like it. I’m not sure what this means, but I’m about to dig into draft 2 and really see where I can make this a little more fun. A lot of it is that there isn’t any real issue there to solve. There is the ending but it’s not really as powerful as I’d like it to be. I know that writing is a process but this process is starting to make me feel like it’ll be impossible, but then I think maybe that’s why I’m feeling so bad. I’m nearly there. If it’s hard, it means I’m doing it right, because nothing ever comes with ease. Well. Nothing really satisfying comes with ease.

I feel like a fraud though. I’m doing all of this work and I’m trying to hard to do things but it’s just…it’s hard. It’s enough to make me want to run away and hide because it’s almost too hard. But I know if I do that I’ll be putting myself out. I’ll be ruining the life I have set up for me. So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to sit down and try and write this bad boy up. I originally wanted to do a chapter a day but I’m not sure if I can. I’m going to try for something similar and when I’m not working or busy taking care of myself, I’m going to write. I’m going to rewrite those words that I loved and those that I hated and I’m going to get down to this. I’m going to finish this.

I made a promise, a statement, that I was going to be a published author by the end of the year. I’m going to do it. I’m going to get my book ready and it’s going to be ready for the people I love and care for to read over.

I’m also going to give more. I have editing I promised. Stories I said I’d look over and never finished looking over. I’m going to do them too. I’m going to give and expect nothing in return because that’s the way life should be.

What are you going to do to change your world? Tell me about it in the love notes below. Go on.

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  1. “Nothing really satisfying comes with ease.” Well said. I was just thinking about that yesterday, actually, after contemplating going back and doing yet another rewrite of a manuscript of mine. I was thinking about how the parts of the book I love so much are the parts I worked the hardest on, the parts I struggled to bring to form and that finally (after MONTHS and YEARS of revision) found the shape they needed. There are other parts that I haven’t worked as much on, and it shows. And that’s the task that still lies ahead.

    I totally identify with your feelings of difficulty and lostness in revising. There are pieces that come together easily, but most important work, I find, has to go through many different drafts. And I’m not talking about slightly different drafts. I’m talking about starting from SCRATCH. Several times. Until something finally works. Until something finally starts pointing in the direction of that jewel I’ve had in mind all along.

    But don’t be afraid that, if it seems hard, it means you’re not cut out to be a writer. If it seems hard, and you still want to keep going, that means you have just what it takes! (And that your standards are high enough to continually push you to do better!) Best of luck!

    Reply

    1. Oh I really know how that feels. I think it’s our writerly perseverance that really keeps us going and is the difference between those that make it and those that don’t! I’m about to go through with the second (full) redraft but I’ve always stopped before getting to end. There’s a beauty in getting there and getting a chance to rewrite, even if it makes me want to throw things at walls. Thank you though! Sometimes words like yours are definitely what we need. I’m going to keep them in ind. I hope you do go back and do another rewrite of your manuscript. Then I know I won’t be alone in the feeling of it! Good luck to you too!

      Reply

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