“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.”
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…
Awesome! It does feel really good to get that first draft nailed down. Good for you 🙂
Thanks! Yep, it feels like an achievement even if I know there’s still a lot of work to do.
Well done! Salute. I like the idea of writing it in long-hand. The brain is steadier that way, thoughts more organised.
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.
Yay! So happy for you, and this motivates me to get to the finish line, too! Congratulations. Enjoy your dancing!
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 😉
Congratulations mate. Enjoy it. Treat yourself to something.
Ah, my writing buddy… thanks. Hope it’s all going well with you too.
Congrats! Great method too because you can do a little editing when transferring from page to computer.
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.
That’s what I do these days. I make my first editing run on a print out though because I catch more.
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…
Thanks! All support is welcome! 😉
A hearty congrats to you!
Heartily received. Thanks!
Congrats man. Good luck with the drafting. Tis a cuntery of a thing.
Thanks. I am foolishly still looking forward to it… I’m sure the words will beat that out of me.
Nice one dude. You stay classy 🙂
Thanks Tyson. And yup, always classy. Always.
I really missed your blog posts, but it’s so good to hear you finished the draft! That more than makes up for it! 🙂
Ah man, thanks so much – that’s really nice of you. Hopefully I’ll start posting a bit more regularly again now.
Thanks! I’ve already enjoyed the moment and now know that I have a lot of work still to do…!
Yes, but what an accomplishment!
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.
Yup, I feel like I need to try to finish this… there are too many half finished projects lying around here. Starting is a lot easier than finishing.
You are right. I’m getting older. I better get my books done soon.
I hope you do. I’d love to read your work in longer form one day.
Finishing that first draft is an amazing accomplishment. Massive congratulations. Enjoy that arm wiggling dancing 🙂
Ha, thanks Rebecca!
I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! 😀
Ha, thanks so much Gwen! I’m pretty excited myself!
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.
Thanks! And good for you too… there’s no magic formula… just persevrence and belief. Good luck!
congrats Mark……the completion of a manuscript, whether its the first or final draft is a pretty awesome feeling.
Thanks. It does feel good. But it’s been sitting in the drawer for over a week now – so I’m already itching to get going on the second draft…