July 18, 2010

After the First Draft

When I start dusting at 8am on a sunny Sunday morning, you know that something strange is going on. Or rather I am looking for excuses to avoid writing or rewriting. As mentioned in my previous post, I felt strongly this week that the 42,000 words I have written over the past three months in a word file titled Thoughts of an Independent Author were going somewhere, and were ready to be worked on as a finished first draft.

I first thought that about 17,000 words ago and then simply kept writing. And I guess I could keep writing now too but I know I'd only be kidding myself because I'd keep writing to avoid going back to the first page to begin working on the second draft.

While I read the first pages of this draft earlier this week and saw sentences, even paragraphs, I liked I am now terrified, too terrified to read more and start working on the book. As Julia Cameron rightly points out in her book The Right to Write, this is the stage where I suddenly begin to think that my draft has to be Great.I It's no longer about simply writing, it's about Writing A Great Book.

This has to be a superb book and I mentally put the bar so high that I am too scared to even look at it. Where do I start? Simply at the beginning? Do I really know where I am going? What if I reread it and find that it sucks, if 35,000 or more of my 42,000 words are just plain bad?

After the dusting is done before 9am and before I give in to the urge to begin washing the windows, I need to take a deep breath. And go back to my first draft.

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