Working on a rough draft is like being on rollercoaster. That’s the best way I can describe how it feels when starting a new work. And this Stephen King quote is one I will no doubt, refer to often as I continue on this new adventure.
While I wait for edits on my second book under contract, I decided it was time to start a new story. I’d been dragging my feet all summer, still on the wonderful high of having signed for my second novel. (That feeling never gets old, either). So as I sit here writing this post, I thought about the last time I dealt with a rough draft. It was November of 2013, longer ago than I thought.
Rough drafts have highs, where you come out of your office and feel like Jack on Titanic, you feel like the king or queen of the world; with your fists in the air, shouting how happy you are. You think this is the most brilliant thing I’ve ever written, and that nobody can pull you down from cloud nine. Fast forward to the next day, or the next week, or the next hour…and you feel like all you’ve done is wasted your precious time. You think who in the heck will want to read this? This is crap, nobody will read it, and I need to quit. I guess every writer goes through this, no matter how high on the totem pole you are.
This is the feeling I had last night, and what inspired this blog post actually. Mind you, only the day before I was feeling pretty good about my work in progress. I thought yes, this is going well. The very next night (and having my son give me a hard time going to sleep didn’t help) but I just felt so deflated. I felt like nothing I wrote was any good, and only got a measly 320 words, and I didn’t even think they were the best words. I knew it wasn’t my finest hour, and honestly, I thought for a brief moment that I should just quit and start something new. But that’s the double-edged sword of writing, because one minute I wanted to quit, and the next day I knew I couldn’t.
Because I have to be honest with myself, I love this story, and I’m already halfway in love with my hero. He’s a complex character, has some heavy baggage, a foot fetish (which surprised me) and of course he’s sexy as hell. The heroine has to see what I see. Whether I think it’s total crap or not, Emma and Patrick’s story needs to be told. I can’t give up on something I’ve already put so much time and effort into. I can’t give up on these people. I need to plow through it, and make it work. At ninety pages in, I think it’s a little late in the game to call it quits.
I have to think back to these same feelings I went through with my first book, with my second, and know that this too shall pass. That these mixed feelings of euphoria, elation, mixed with feelings of utter despair, are all part of the game. They’re all normal. So, as the saying goes, I’m going to pull up my big girl panties, grab a Snicker bar, and go forth into this battlefield I call writing. After all, it’s only a rough draft. 🙂
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