Hello friends! It’s that time again where I crawl into my most comfiest of clothes, don’t wear makeup, prescription glasses on instead of contacts, my hair is a nest on top of my head, and the coffee is flowing till the wee hours of the night. I’M WRITING! What? Oh, you think you can write a book and look glamorous while doing it? LIES! Lies, I tell you! As some may know, last year, I finished drafting my first book. *wide eyed, gaped mouth* I. Know! It was one hell of a journey. After finishing the draft to my Dystopian book, (the first of a Duology) I found a freelance editor and sent it off to get ripped apart…in the best way, of course. While waiting on that to happen, I was encouraged to start another story. Something different from a Dystopian, since the market is quite saturated with them at the moment. *shakes fists* “Thanks Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner and The Giver…” I’ve explained this story before, but in short, I struggled with the idea of a new story when the first one was still fresh in my head. Finally, the new story clicked and the last few months has been outlining and plotting. Right before the holidays, I started drafting the first chapter. Now, the holidays are over, the new year is here for the taking and I’m ready and excited to jump back in! A twitter pal went to an author event and tweeted some of their advice. I saved a couple to remind myself when that bugger on my shoulder tries to discourage me. When you actually wet your feet and begin writing the story that lives in your head, one of your biggest enemies lies within: your inner Editor. And let’s be honest, as much as you wish you were awesome (and perhaps you are), you need another pair of eyes. You need an actual Editor whose brain is crafted to see the little things and catch plot errors. While writing, you want to get it right, perfect and you want it down the first time. You put all this pressure on yourself, writing, proofreading, rereading, and wanting to figure out ALL THE THINGS from the beginning so your story sparkles with flecks of gold. That becomes the downfall of many writers. The pressure for it to be “perfect” on the first draft leads to disappointment, crippling insecurtiy, and then…quitting. Even if you don’t quit the story entirely, your pace drastically slows down, leaving days, weeks, MONTHS since you’ve last touched your manuscript. I’ve read and been told time and time again; The first draft is going the suck. “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” Just get the story out. Drafting should be the quickest part of your ‘Writing a Book’ journey. Revisions is where the meat of the process is. Revisions takes MONTHS. (sometimes more) That’s where you can go back, reread your entire story from beginning to end and catch all the things. Then, you get to give it to a professional who will read and catch all the things, marking your entire manuscript in BLOOD RED. Then, you hand off to beta-readers to dissect and give you the outside reader’s perspective. THEN, you go back in and fix all the things. Reread all the things (For the thousandth time) and maybe….just freaking maybe, it’ll be time to send that sucker out to query and hope and pray an agent and editor publishes you. Book one is about to start Revisions. To say I’m…well, I’m dreading and looking forward to it. MY POINT! Don’t over think the final outcome of the manuscript. Focus on telling the story. Do your research, outline and plot the crap out of it and then write like the wind. As of yesterday, I made official with a writer friend, my 1ooo/words a day goal. I proofread my first chapter from a month ago, made some suggested additions/changes, and then continued my story.
My total word count was: 1697! Boo-Yah!
Sure, it was past six in the morning when I got there but hey, it’s okay, I’m nocturnal. The brain doesn’t fully wake up till about after eleven at night anyway. Even now, it’s almost four in the afternoon and my eyes are heavy and refusing to wake up, even with the coffee at my side. My hope for this year is that I may have the final draft of my first manuscript, maybe if I’m efficient, be in final Revisions of this second manuscript I’m drafting now, and hopefully be in the process of drafting the second and last book of my first concept duology. With those goals in mind, it’s gonna take some major discipline, constant kicking of procrastination’s ass, and accountability. Luckily, I have two strong, writer friends who I know will keep me on it. Writing is very much a solitary lifestyle. You’re in your head and over your laptop for endless hours on almost a daily basis. Weekends don’t mean anything. Holidays sometimes don’t make a difference until your loved ones drag your smelly ass in the shower, forcing you to wear a bra and brush you hair, for goodness sake. Though, that is the case, writing can’t be done alone. You need others. You need friends who will be blunt and critical of your work, because sharing it is the only way to make it better. You need the support of others who’ve been there or are currently there with you. I’m very much the loner, and happily so. I’m shy and introverted. I’m extremely friendly though and easy to converse with but am a bit anti-social–go figure. When I started this new venture, and truly committed to it, I thought it was the perfect loner job. My insecurities thought I wouldn’t have to show anyone my work (until querying), and that the typical networking keys didn’t apply to me in this career path. HA! *chokes in laughter* Oh, how naive were you past, Des. *pats past self on the head* No, my friends. The publishing world/industry requires networking, marketing, and human interaction. So sorry to all my hermit crab friends out there aspiring to be writers. This new year, challenge yourself. I double dog dare you to write that story you’ve been meaning to write for a while now. I dare you to pick one of your many brilliant ideas and just do it! Don’t think further than that. Don’t try and format what this one book will get you. Whether this is the one to publish first or not, just get it done! Time slips between our fingers like water, and the next thing you know, you’re thirty, reminiscing years of dreaming that have yet to lead to action. FORGET THAT! Let’s make this shizz happen! Now! Today! Lets….