First Draft Fits

fountain pen on spiral notebook

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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Keeping Up With It All

silhouette of woman facing sunset

Sometimes there are days when I feel overwhelmed and just want to burrow away in a cave or crawl under the covers and lay there until all the things in my mind and in the world stop spinning so I can catch up and gain some semblance of peace.  Truly, the last couple of months have been the busiest in my life since the baby and toddler years of my youngest son, Christopher’s brain surgeries and many medical treatments and therapies.

Obviously, this is a different kind of busy.  And really, during Great Lent, I should have a lighter load of earthly cares and an expanded and deeper spiritual regimen/practice.  I’m not doing too well there.  Lord, but I keep trying.  I am enduring.  I’ve got to.

These years of my life are a struggle as I have my usual medical issues since my early twenties of low blood sugar and general anxiety coupled with cantankerous peri-menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes and the dreaded night sweats that deprive me of decent hours of sleep and suck the nutrients and liquid out of my body making me borderline dehydrated.  So then I have to have a bottle of water on my nightstand to take a few sips every two hours I wake from burning up and being drenched in perspiration. Of course, while this is going on, my hormones are a mess, which triggers my anxiety and low blood sugar.  It’s a real balancing act.  But I am enduring.  I’ve got to.

menopause fan and water pic

My novel is in its last edits with my editor, and I’ve been working feverishly on the synopsis of my novel.  It’s written, but it needs to be culled of wordiness for which I’m so guilty. I also have other pieces I’m writing, but they have been put aside while I focus on my novel.

To add to this, I started British Literature class this past Monday, to which there are many things to read and write–journals and essays.  It’s one of four classes I’ve got left until I graduate, and truly, I’m running out of steam for courses with heavy analyzing and five to ten-page papers to write.  But I am enduring.  I’ve got to.

And, of course, my weekly blog posts.  I almost didn’t have anything to write about for Monday, until I thought about all I’ve got going on and figured, hey, why not write about that?  People can relate.  And with that…a Shout Out to all my anxiety-ridden and menopausal pals out there.  We endure.  We’ve got to.

Then there are the regular wife and mother hats that I wear happily and proudly.  My sons are getting through the school year well.  My husband is working so hard.  I love them all…words can’t really express how much.  They, along with God, are my support and life.

So to help ease my stress, I’m going to try to return to walking at least four times a week, do yoga stretches, and read more spiritual books.  Wish me luck.  But you know, I’ve got to do it.

 

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