I started this blog when I was yet to finish the first draft of my book. The first draft that had been waiting, forgotten and imperfect, in my documents for years. Now, as I tackle the ever daunting draft 3, I have some things I’d like to share. After all, as the title so aptly says, I’ve changed as a writer.
I used to be a ‘write when you want and stop when you don’t’ kind of writer. I’d take hiatus’ whenever I was unmotivated or simply too lazy to work. Hiatus’ such as the one two years ago that lasted a year. Yes, you read that correctly, A YEAR! If I’d taken writing as seriously as I do now, I could’ve at least been completing draft 5.
So, I know what you’re thinking. Draft 3 must be readable. Draft 3 might even be query-able (see what I did there :p). My answer is this. Draft 3 is better than draft 2 and on a different league to draft 1. But it’s not the final draft. There will be a fourth, possibly even a fifth after this. I’m just going to see how it goes, accept feedback when it’s given, and try to make it the best it can be.
Now, back to the title. Since I’ve already stated numerous times that ‘I’ve changed as a writer’, I’d like to share some tips. Things I wish 16 year old me had taken into account.
Tip 1 – Write even when you don’t feel like it.
Yes, we’re back to the whole ‘Write everyday or don’t write everyday? That is the question’ debate. Although, I’m here to offer an alternative of sorts. Don’t write everyday because you’ll burn yourself out. But…and this is an important but…do write when you have the time, but you don’t necessarily feel like picking up your pen (or typing). I didn’t get here by only writing when I felt like it, trust me.
Tip 2 – Write first, publish second.
The thought of getting published swept me up and then dropped me rather abruptly on the sand. After that I realised my mistakes, especially considering the days where I imagined the finished book whilst staring at the unfinished manuscript on my screen. Let’s not even get started on the imaginary movie deal (I wish I was joking). Just remember, you can’t get an unfinished book published.
Tip 3 – First drafts are bad but don’t let them dishearten you.
My first draft, even after many years, was quite frankly a disappointment. It’s a strange feeling when you realise that your perfect idea never actually turned out the way you’d hoped, expected even. But that is why we revise, edit, re-write. First drafts, no matter how bad, validate us all as writers. Many people want to write a book, but to complete it from start to finish, well that’s something else entirely. Accept it’s imperfections and then fix them.
This post has become much longer than I’d expected so I’m going to leave it there. If you’d like to read more writing related/advice posts in the future, then let me know in the comments. Hope you found it somewhat helpful. 🙂
Until next time keep dreaming x