If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you know this happened:
Nothing feels better than typing those two words and actually being proud of the work and time you put in. The moment was so different from finishing ADKOU (aka the trashed manuscript from this year). I was equal parts relieved, excited, but also really, really tired.
Let's see how I did my final week!
Week 6: 15,300
I owe the motivation of this week to all the support from my 2 handsome boys and the PVRIS concert.
Blaire, though annoying at times, was a constant companion on my lap, and Michael supported me the whole way, letting me spend hours in the cave. He even went to the PVRIS concert with me (despite not having slept in two days so I wouldn't be alone), got me a nice bottle of champagne to celebrate, and took me out for dessert.
The concert though, was even better than I thought it'd be. There's just something about seeing a performance live that transcends listening to the record. Even more so, when I'm able to imagine all these scenes in my head from my MS that correlated with some of their tracks (see my post last week here, to see what I mean).
All these things helped me get to the finish line that I ended up making it before my self-imposed deadline of June 1st! So that's something to feel good about, especially with vacation around the corner.
The first draft is always the 'magical' draft. It belongs fully and completely to you despite all its flaws. But if you want to make it even better and go through revisions, you'll have to take off your rose-colored glasses and get other eyes on it. That's the hard part.
For my own process, this would be the time where I take a break before going back to do a read-through and creating my own revision plan to get it ready for CP's. I'm doing things a little differently this time around because I want to know if there's 'something there' in my story. Is the story and the characters compelling enough? Not only to snag my own interest, but the interests of others that they would go along with the MC's journey? So this time, I actually sent my first three chapters and pitch out with a few trusted CP's and then to my agent.
Though I enjoyed every minute of writing this MS and am already thinking of revision ideas, I know that if I have to let this project go, then I will. It's a hard thing to do, but I'm prepared to do so if need be. But I am also prepared to work hard on it and give it everything I have, if all signs point to yes.
Either way, I've learned two important lessons this year with these two complete first drafts (ADKOU & TGw9L):
- Write passionately. Do not write for the sake of writing. Write with your whole heart and nothing less than that. Because if you don't, it'll show in your writing. You can't fool the reader.
- Know when to let things go. Making decisions are never easy, but when it's time to pull the plug on something, do it with respect. Don't think of it as a waste of time, don't think that it has to do with you. Stories work in different ways, and maybe it's not the right time for you or it to be fully realized. Seek opinions you trust to help you make the hard choices if need be, but don't be afraid to leave something behind. It's not quitting. It's moving on to give yourself the best possible chance to grow and thrive.