Friday, 6 November 2009

Does It Feel Good?

So I finished the first draft, and posted to let people know, and several of you bounced up and down in my comments box and my email inbox, whooping and congratulating me.

'Does it feel good?' asked lovely blogfriend JJ.

I remember the first time I finished the first draft of a book. That felt amazing. This time, I just felt flat.

I think there are a number of reasons for this. Having taken the previous version through six drafts, I'm well aware of the amount of work that is still to be done (although this time, I think largely due to my wonderful mentor's input, I reckon I can finish it in four). I am pleased to have reached this milestone, and I think the next draft will be more fun, because I much prefer editing - crafting the story to make it as good as I can - to churning out the words in the first place. But I'm still struggling with my writing. Writing is often difficult, but I don't mind difficult; often I enjoy it. I'm not sure why I'm struggling at the moment. Yesterday, I took several hours to come up with the bones of a short story, and that's unusual.

It could be that I'm struggling because my skills are improving and I'm in a period of adjustment. That would be good. Or it could be because I'm a little weighed down with other things - my Paramour's ongoingly high stress levels; insufficient paid work; being a bit under the weather myself just now. That wouldn't be surprising. Either way, I know I have to write on through this.

And, although I am a little weighed down, I'm not hugely miserable or depressed or anything. My problems are temporary; generally, life is fine; and there are some really good bits. In fact I'm going to have a lovely weekend: I'm doing dinner for eight of us tonight, then tomorrow my Paramour and I are going to stay overnight with dear friends, and on Sunday the new neighbours are coming round to see our house and drink wine and eat pizza. And I'm not going to do any writing at all!


JJ Beattie said...

Life can be like that, can't it? I'm not really at all surprised by 'flat.' People think writing is easy: isn't it just sitting on your bottom typing? Anyway I think it's bloody marvellous that you finished the first draft... I'm celebrating for you.

Karen said...

I can understand that feeling and I think it's natural - I felt that way myself last week for various reasons and hardly wrote a word, but today I'm back on the game (as it were!) and feeling more postive again. Just roll with it, and feel good that at least you've completed the first draft.

Maybe we're more realistic these days too - way back I used to think that finishing a piece of work meant just that - now I know it's only the beginning, but I love the editing part too...knowing the bare bones are there waiting to be filled out :o)

Debs said...

I also have my up and down days, especially with my writing, but it sounds like you're about to have a fun-filled weekend and will probably feel much better by next week.

HelenMHunt said...

Sounds like you're hitting the right balance and being realistic. All to the good.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Milestones are unpredictable things. They often make you feel the opposite of what you expected, possibly because you had those expectations in the first place.

But maybe one thing you know a bit better this time - because of experience instead of hearsay - is that it's a long hard slog and there's a lot still to do. But you're doing it because you want to, so hang onto that.

Queenie said...

Thanks, JJ.
Karen, you're right.
Debs, your prescience is amazing!!
Helen, thank you.
BS: I knew that last time, too *sigh* but yes, you're right.

Debi said...

Well, that link explains a lot. Ouch! Poor you!

But re the editing. You know I don't think it will take 4 full redrafts. And, yes, it's a lot of work, but as you say, it's the aspect you enjoy most.

Hope you're feeling less pissed (!!!!) off now. x