Mission: First Draft. Complete.


“Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It’s one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period.”

Nicholas Sparks

Joy, relief, apprehension, excitement, yadda yadda yadda.

It may have taken a little longer than anticipated but Draft One is complete. You can’t see me but I’m lying on my sofa having just done a little celebratory dance (picture this: flailing arms, lanky legs pumping, shoulders jiggling. I always stay classy).

Written by hand, in pen, on paper – and transferred to my computer every 30 or 40 pages. Written in a form of free verse that I believe in 100% but still doubt my ability to pull off. But most importantly, written.

I once wrote a post in which my main words of wisdom were: ‘If you want to be a writer then write.’ That’s advice worth following – but recently I’ve struggled. As I got close to the end of my first draft, I started looking for a new job, then I got a job, and it’s a busy job, and my focus shifted, and I wanted to write but I didn’t write, and I didn’t blog, and then I said to myself ‘If I want to be a writer then I need to write’, so I wrote, and now I’ve finished my first draft, and it feels good.

But there are no laurels to rest on. I’m already looking forward to the second draft – to the re-writing. And trust me, it’s going to need some serious re-writing!

For now I’ve put the manuscript away. It’ll stay locked up for 3 or 4 weeks…. ready to be looked at with fresh eyes. I can’t even remember the last time I saw the first page so at the moment I’m mostly just hoping it isn’t completely shit.

And in the meantime I have two other projects that I want to devote some time to – so they’ll be getting some love and attention.

Just time to reminisce with a pointer back to my first ever blog post, which was an early excerpt from the novel.

Now, for one more arm flailing dance…


37 thoughts on “Mission: First Draft. Complete.

    1. beautifulorange Post author

      Thanks John. Appreciate it. And yep, it was the only way that I could write this – but it does make the process longer… maybe next time I’ll get my typing fingers on earlier.

    1. beautifulorange Post author

      Thanks so much. It really does feel good to have completed something, even it is only the first draft. I’ve got a lot of work still to do but the motivation is there. And I hope it does motivate you too… more power to your writing elbow 😉

    1. beautifulorange Post author

      Thanks Charles! And yup, it did help with some editing… on the other hand, I think that next time I’ll go straight to my computer as I think I need to focus more on just getting the first draft down instead of editing as I go.

  1. johnnycrabcakes

    Congrats Mark! That’s an awesome accomplishment. I have been working on a similar idea (which I may have mentioned before?) and its encouraging to see someone moving forward with a project like this. I have a lot of catching up to do on my WP reading and your excerpts are high on the list. Thirty hours in the day would be nice…

    Be for-warned…as Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.”
    Expect the worst and when it doesn’t happen you’ll be presently surprised? That’s what I try to do usually…well…in general…haven’t written a first draft of a book-length piece yet…

  2. johncoyote

    This is very good. I have three first drafts I have to finish one day. Time is hard to find. One day i will be free from working to spend time on writing. Good to finish one project before moving on.

  3. Tracesofthesoul

    I had read your post on If you want to be a writer, write and I have taken your advice since April. congratulations on completing your first draft, wow! Maybe someday …have lots to learn still.


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