Those Writers Were You

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As writers, we struggle at times to get words on a page, ideas formulated, and plots created. We labor through a crummy first draft, along the way, sporadically wondering why we are writing the particular stories we are trying to write at that time.

Sometimes we feel alone, like we’re the only ones with brain melt from the overwhelming mental effort it takes to create storylines, plots, characters, and scenes.

In between those struggles, we read books we truly adore, finding them superbly written, taking us out of our worlds and into the characters’ worlds.

We thank the magnificent authors for spurring ideas for our own stories and helping us to write our next few paragraphs, or even chapters.

A few days ago, I came across an inspirational quote via a meme circulating on Twitter that really did uplift me and made me feel like all my work was worth it. And it made me realize all these wonderfully written books by these awesome writers were once where I was before they were known and their books soared in the published and reading realm.

“Never forget that every single one of your favorite books

were once awful, error-filled, unpolished first drafts.” — Unknown

 

Now, go finish that first draft, those revisions, and know your book(s) is/are just as spectacular as the ones you read.

 

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ROADS (Guest Blog Post Poem)

texas big bend dirt path

This poem was written by my oldest son, Nicholas, last night.

 

ROADS

 

Roads of many kind,

Roads that go to many places,

Roads that tell a tale.

 

The one worth traveling,

Is not easy,

Is not clear.

 

It is but a dirt road,

No wider than one car,

And as barren as a desert.

 

All the other roads look so much nicer,

Easier to travel on,

Common sense.

 

It tells me that the clean roads would be easier,

But they lead to cities,

Cities of crime and uncleanliness.

 

Yes, cities of sorrow and despair,

Cities of anger and hatred,

Cities of gloom and darkness.

 

Yet, those are the most traveled roads,

Wide and easy to navigate, and not as barren,

Everybody takes them, so why not I?

 

Yet, the Beaten Road,

It does call me,

But it’s only on the breeze.

 

It’s only a whisper that tells me,

While the other roads clang loud,

Sometimes it hard to tell.

 

Then one car, I see, stops,

A young man gets out,

And leaves his car.

 

And then I see him walk down the Beaten Road,

Struggles, as he does,

To continue down that path.

 

I jump out of my car,

To lend the poor man,

A hand.

 

He looks up at me with sorrow,

And whispers,

“Thank you.”

 

Hand-in-hand,

We head down that Beaten Road,

Leaving behind all pleasures.

 

Because sometimes,

The best places,

Are the hardest to reach.

 

 

First Draft Fits

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I’ve written about the struggles of writing and finishing a first draft before, like just this January! I gave myself three months to get as much done as I could. The third month is just beginning.

I’ve written several more scenes, words, chapters, so at least I’ve been at it. But have I gotten far enough along according to what I’d challenged myself to do via my previous blog post: “…hoping the first draft will be done by the end of that time period. If not, at least it’ll be close”? Well, I’m closer, but with all the scenes that have popped in my head, the paths my characters have taken me…it’s been a good trek, heading toward the end goal, but I wouldn’t say I’m on the cusp of writing “THE END”.

My WIP, What She Didn’t Know, is nearly sixty thousand words so far and is written from three different third person point of views, and perhaps this is why it’s taking me longer.

Both my novel, Passage of Promise, and my novella, Mourning Dove, are from one third person point of view.

With three different points of view, there is so much more to write because you have three different people’s lives to build character ARCs and intertwine their lives into a main plot of sorts.

So, I started writing What She Didn’t Know January 14, 2018. And what I’d said before in my previous blog on this: “I blame my half-done piece on working on my other done pieces” I’ve still been doing! For shame!

I did some research on how long most authors take to write their first drafts. I’ve read anywhere from a few weeks to six months. This definitely spurred me into thinking, “What am I doing with my work in progress?!”

I’ve got to just focus on this piece and finish it!

I needed some encouragement, so I wandered around websites for authors’ comments on finishing the first draft, and this one by Shannon Hale, a young adult fantasy author, absolutely struck and inspired me. I love it:

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” 

How long did it take you to write your first draft? What motivated you to get it done? If you’re not done, get to it! 😀

 

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