It’s only a first draft

For those that don’t know, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year. Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. 

It’s day eleven, and I’m currently at just over 18,000 words. Totally on target, and I haven’t even written anything today. 

So why am I not feeling the enthusiasm and excitement that I felt last year? Is it because it’s my second project, or because I’m still hung up on the story I wrote last year? 

After chatting with a Twitter friend this morning, I’ve decided I need to remind myself that It’s Just A First Draft. I feel that I should be bounding around with enthusiasm for my characters, that they should be calling me to write them every day. Except, it’s just not happening. Then I have to remember last year, when I found myself wondering what on earth I was doing, when I hadn’t even planned ANY of the story, just the basic outline. That was even harder. The trouble is, this new project has been planned with not just a backbone, but a rib cage and limbs as well, and although I’ve created plenty of conflict, it just doesn’t seem to be reaching the page. Then I have to remind myself that It’s Just A First Draft. And I have my character profiles sketched out too. 

I remember reading my first draft after last year’s book and cringing at how terrible it was, and now that it’s in it’s fourth draft and (almost) ready for submission, I’m still hung up on it. It’s a bit like trying to start a new love affair when you haven’t finished with the old one yet. Except, I needed to take a step back from it, to start something new and then come back to Time for Love with a fresh eye, having completed my second project. 

The point is, Time for Love (formerly The Gateway) has been re-written twice already and I need to keep reminding myself of that as I write my second book (as yet untitled). 

I’ve written this blog post with the intention of giving myself a pep-talk and to snap out of that “self-doubt” darkness looming over me (hey, it’s November, and it’s dark and wet), and hope that anyone else reading this will find some encouragement in it too. 

I might have written 18k so far and been a very good girl with keeping to target, but I can’t guarantee that it’s any good. But, hey. 


Keep that in mind, and good luck all you other Wrimos. Keep rooting for each other. 😉



6 thoughts on “It’s only a first draft

  1. Keep up the work.At some point you will pull yourself over the tipping point and finish it. It is about creating a novel, an idea on paper or computer now. Like a rough sketch and outline of everything. So write that first draft and be happy you were able to. Cause it is not easy to write 1667 words a day every day for an entire month. keep smiling. And from December on you start taken away the rough edges.

    1. Thanks Ranting Crow. I managed a further 2k yesterday and finally started to get excited when the antagonist showed up. I remember that happening last year, too. As you say, once the first draft is written, I have a rough sketch of the novel to twist and colour in as I see fit. Thanks for the encouraging comment 🙂

  2. Keep going Fiona I’m sure you will have another original story when you finish everything else can come later. Its the originality and voice you can’t add and you already have that xx

  3. Fiona – keep going, keep going and keep going some more. Those doubt crows will always be circling (believe me!) no matter what stage of drafting you’re at or how many books you’ve written. I once read that the only difference between a unpublished author and a published one is that the latter didn’t give up. Huge hugs. Can’t wait to see you get to the finishing line. XX

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