Hello friends, I hope this post finds you well. Are you gearing up for the approaching holidays? Somehow, once again, it feels like they’ve sneaked up on me. November especially, seems to have grown legs and gotten away. One moment it’s the height of summer and it feels as if it will always be that way, and the next moment it’s November, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and the New Year. It’s like a snowball effect, gaining momentum as it fast approaches. It’s been a while since we chatted about life, and writing, so I thought it would be fun to catch up today.
A few of months ago, I mentioned that I had begun writing a new novel. It was a big step for me to put aside my previous novel I’d been working on for the past four years, and move on to something new. When I started this new novel, I thought I could finish it by the end of summer, (silly me). I knew it was a long shot, but figured it was worth a try anyway. I didn’t finish it, (no surprise there), but I made a lot of progress. With each new project I take on, I learn something new about the writing process, and about myself. I’ve learned that the more you write, the more you want to write, and that it’s okay for the process to taker longer than anticipated. Accepting and understanding these facts have helped keep any self-inflicted discouragement at bay.
My outlining, and drafting process for this novel have been very different from any of my other projects, and I’m learning more and more what works best for me. I’m about halfway through my first draft, with plenty of ups and downs to say the least, but I have to say its been one of the smoothest drafts I’ve ever worked on. Though not without its difficulties, rough patches and occasional writer’s block, I now realize those challenges tend to crop up where my outline was weak. Needless to say, I’m learning the importance of a good outline, and how it can really save you from headaches later on.
On another note, I’m really enjoying getting to know my characters, and fleshing out the world they live in, and I’m looking forward to the day I can share it all with you. A few years ago, if you would have told me the kind of story I would be working on today, I’m not sure I would have believed you. Sometimes, I suppose, these unexpected surprises can turn out to be better than what we had planned for ourselves. I definitely have my work cut out for this book, but I’m prepared to roll up my sleeves and get to it.
Something else I’ve learned is that a messy first draft is okay. It doesn’t matter how bad the pacing might be or how many plot holes I will have to fix later, getting the heart of the story onto the page is what DOES matter. When uncertainties and self-doubts about the quality of my story start creeping in, I’m slowly learning to be okay with that, too. I’m realizing in time, with a little editing and hard work, I can still make something good out of it, and it can still be something I’m proud of, with typos and all.
Outside of writing, it’s been life as usual– which is just fine with me. I’m trying to enjoy the last of these quiet, dull days, and brace myself for the Christmas mania that is fast approaching. And since it’s the time for gratitude, and thanksgiving, I want to take a minute to thank you, for reading this post, and all of my other posts, too. I truly appreciate you. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, or a happy Thursday, wherever you are, and I’ll be back with another post soon.