Looks like my poor little blog is falling by the wayside…
I’m now at the seventy percent mark of my middle grade novel. Honestly I’d predicted that I would be revising a completed draft by now but here we are. Still writing…
After agonizing over my opening pages for such a long time, I’m still going to have a major rewrite at the beginning. For a long time it felt like I just couldn’t pull all the pieces of the plot together but now that I’m past the midway point, I see that I really do have to put in a lot of work during the revision process. This in itself is daunting because I’ve written just about 44,000 words and all I can think about is how much of it needs to be rewritten or cut from the draft altogether. To all the authors who say write without editing until you finish the first draft… I totally get it now. Personally, I write and edit at the same time. I kinda like tidying up a bit as I go so I have a cleaner draft to work with at the end. But all that time I spent rewriting the first 50 pages basically turned out to be nothing more than a giant time suck, and I still have a major rewrite to undertake at the beginning anyway so what was the point? Had I pushed all the way through…who knows where I could be? Still, rewriting helped me to clarify and narrow the lens on the story so that still counts for something.
You learn a lot about yourself when writing. I’ve come really close to shelving this project. I’ve been frustrated at myself for not getting this done sooner. At the start of 2018, one of my goals was to land an agent but I’m not even close to querying an agent at this point. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wondered if my writing is good enough, or thought that maybe I should try another writing project instead. Giving up isn’t an option. Giving up would be like admitting that I’m not cut out for writing, that I cannot finish a book. It takes persistence, motivation and a heck of a lot of interior cheerleading to write a book. Actually it takes a whole village of writing friends, critique partners and supporters. I am going to finish this story. I can do it. Better believe it.
So what’s the plan?
Reclaim my lunch hour again. I’ve been letting work and lunches with work colleagues nibble into time that should be devoted to writing. Writing at home with a toddler is tough. Waking up early doesn’t guarantee anything because the toddler has a way of waking early too. I’ve got to carve time whenever I can and that’s as good a plan as it’ll get. This book isn’t going to write itself so I have to make time. It is as simple and difficult as that.
Stick to the outline. Now don’t get me wrong, veering away from a rigid outline isn’t a bad thing. In fact, a few rambling turns away from an outline is a good thing. I’ve gotten new ideas and changed direction a few times already (okay maybe a bit too much) but the story is so much better because of it. So the push to the finish line now is clear and I’ve reoutlined the ending to provide better direction towards wrapping up the story.
Now that I’m this close to finishing I’m getting all these other ideas for two other stories ideas. So tempting to start but I’m just going to keep adding little notes on my Google Doc until that day when I announce that I’m working on a new WIP.
How do you keep the momemtum going when you’re this close to finishing?