I’ve not been blogging for a while, due to being so focused on getting through draft 2 of The Dark Room.
It’s been an incredibly long journey so far, mostly because as a first book, I’ve learnt so much and had to make major changes in the writing as well as slight adjustments to the plot. My young kids have kept me busy, and finding time to exercise is a challenge too. The balance has been there, just wishing there were more hours in a day.
I am sure many potential authors like me work full time and try to keep up to date with Social Media and whom they’re following, also keeping up with reading and trying to do all the things authors should do to be an author.
Unless you are authoring full time, just do what you can, don’t stress, don’t fret about time. Do what is best for your writing and by that I mean take your time, because there is no choice BUT to take your time, unless you are an utter genius! Tadaaaaaaa!
The reason you have to take your time, is because you don’t become a great writer overnight. So therein lies your choice, the universe is in charge and you are its passenger. Have faith in your ability to learn and set realistic milestones. Draft one the first year, draft two the second year (in some instances, if you’re lucky). It’s really like that, really.
My mornings are spent getting into work for 7am, so I can edit for an hour, because evening editing is not my best. Morning is just my most inspirational time for writing and having finally completed draft 2, every day from hereon feels like Christmas. Why? Because this is personally a big milestone for me.
Well, when I say draft 2 is complete, what that really means is, chapters 1 to 14 are draft 1.5, because I was only really satisfied with draft 2 writing from chapters 14 to 25, learning again whilst writing. The penny dropped and like all authors, I’m constantly learning and improving. There have been so many moments when I suddenly realize my writing can be better, I honestly wonder if it will ever, ever end.
Draft 3 will be my final draft, then off to an editor for polishing and an attempt to acquire representation (whilst beginning book two).
Critical feedback is key for improving, because without someone telling you when your writing is a bit crap in the nicest possible way, you’ll think it’s the most wonderful thing since ‘The Girl on The Train,’ which really is a wonderful thing!
So on to draft 3 and reading the whole book again. On average, I wonder how many times an author reads their own work before getting it published. It must run into the hundreds or even the thousands. Every time I edit a chapter, I will start from the beginning, ensuring I am happy with the flow and the phrasing of the paragraphs, and always something will change slightly, but I don’t mind because I’m writing a story I would like to read myself, keep that in mind and make sure you’re writing something you’d like to read too.