As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I recently completed the first draft of a new Contemporary YA novel.
I started it while I was still pregnant, and then had to put it on the back burner thanks to an out-of-state move, and a son so fussy he earned himself the nickname Demon Baby. (He has since outgrown his colic, and is now the sweetest boy on the planet, thank you very much.) Anyhow, once I was able to write again, I wanted this thing done YESTERDAY. So when my husband's aunt came to stay with us, I took full advantage and wrote like a fiend.
Still, it seemed like I was never going to finish.
And then finally....
Let's face it, this feeling never gets old. You have created an entire world that didn't exist before, and it's a freaking amazing accomplishment. You SHOULD be proud of yourself. And I was.
The next step was to let the novel "marinate" for a few days while I caught up on everything I'd been neglecting in order to finish it. I'd been making revision notes as I wrote, so at this point I was still all
Of course, I took one look at the first chapter, and then I was more like
Still, I powered through first pass edits, and then it was time to send it on to my first beta readers. AKA, time for complete and utter OMG-WHAT-IF-THIS-SUCKS butterflies ricocheting off the walls of my stomach.
But I hit send. And then... I waited. I did laundry. I cooked. I took care of my son. But in the back of my mind, all I could think was UGH, PEOPLE ARE READING MY NOVEL.
So I thought, what can I do to keep myself occupied while I wait? I know! Stalkerishly google Colton Haynes!
What the hell? Even in my fantasies, someone wants me to do laundry?
Taking out the trash. That's more like it, Colton.
Gorgeous and intuitive! Does it get better than this???
YES, YES IT DOES.
I'm sorry, was I saying something? Oh, right. Revisions....
Alas, notes began to arrive! And as anxious as I was to hear what my crit partners thought of my newest endeavor, I was also super nervous.
What if they hated it? What if their suggestions were impossible to institute? Worse - what if this manuscript was BEYOND HELP?
Now don't get me wrong, I knew this manuscript needed work. That's not to say I don't think it's good. EVERY manuscript needs work, no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears went into the first draft.
Still, my initial reaction is always the same when I start thinking about killing my darlings.
I ask myself, CAN I DO THIS?
And then it escalates....
Until finally I'm forced to get a grip
Once I do, I finally remember there's more than one way to skin a cat. That even though my original draft seemed like the ONLY way to go at the time when I wrote it, there are tons of ways to make it EVEN BETTER.
And that's when I get excited all over again
And want to grab my CPs
AND SQUISH THEIR GENIUS FACES
Except I can't, A) Because they all live too far away from me and B) Because I'm to busy getting back into this mode:
And that's where I am right now.
How about you, peeps? Is this anything like your writing/revising breakdown? Where are you in the writing process?