Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finishing a First Draft

I've been writing a lot lately, and today I did something exciting:

I typed the last words of the first draft of my current WIP. 

Now, this is always something to celebrate, but today feels different.  You see, this book is the third book in a trilogy that has been my child for over two hundred thousand words.  Finishing this draft is thrilling, but at the same time, draining.

I feel like I've been in perpetual labor for longer than I can remember.  My hands are shaking, and I still don't believe that this book is really, finally, on the page.

Note I do not say it's done:  I know better than that now (I didn't when I first started writing.)  I plan to leave it alone, shift to another project, and perhaps in July I'll be in a head space that allows me to begin revisions.

But for this phase, it's down on the page.

This series has taken me in so many interesting and unexpected directions: I added a random character last March, and she became the villain of the piece.  I inhabited the skin of my first person protagonist, and now that her words have left me, I feel a bit like a shell.

It's sort of like the feeling I got whenever a play ended: I'd been living as my character for months of rehearsals and then performing, and then the set got struck and the costumes returned and I was empty.

It's sort of like that, but not entirely: this feels infinitely bigger.  I've never felt such a mix of emotions when finishing a first draft before.

But at the heart of it, I am thankful.  So thankful that I made the choice to shift my focus from teaching to writing.  A year ago this month, I turned in my middle school teacher cap and became a full-time dreamer.  I still teach (college kids now), but the shift in time truly shifted my life.  It's been a beautiful year, and I can't wait to see what the next one brings.  Gratitude and blessings to the universe: thank you for not letting me fall.

What are you thankful for today, large or small?


  1. That's awesome, Jen! Congratulations. :)

    1. Thanks, Vero! Now to let it simmer before diving back in to series-wide revisions!

  2. This is the first time I've stumbled across your blog, and what a post to begin with! Congratulations!

  3. Jen, Congratulations! A completed first draft is a great accomplishment! I hope one day soon I will be reading your book. I am thankful that I got an A in my first class in my Master's program for Library Science. And now....on to class 2! :)

    1. Claire, that's very exciting!! Congrats on moving forward in your program with a great GPA...when will you complete the MLS?

      Thanks for the encouragement, too!